Governor's veto draws ire of Missouri cattlemen

by By Bryan Salvage
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Opponents of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said he showed a lack of support for family farmers and ranchers by vetoing bipartisan legislation H.B. 1326 and S.B. 506, which are known as farm bills. According to Jim McCann, Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) president, both bills were supported by 13 agricultural organizations that represent thousands of producers and small businesses, he added. The bills included increasing hauling limits for livestock on Missouri highways; extending the equine liability waiver to all livestock; allowing the states cattle producers to vote whether or not to increase their investment in the Missouri beef checkoff; and enacting the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act.

"Governor Jay Nixon once again turned his back on farmers and ranchers with another veto of agricultural legislation," McCann said. "Agriculture is the steam engine of Missouri's economy, generating more than $12 billion and thousands of jobs. One would think the governor would do everything within his power to support legislation that empowers Missouri's farmers and ranchers. The veto did the opposite."

Both bills would do a lot for every segment of Missouri agriculture, he said.

"More than a dozen agricultural organizations across the state banded together to show support for these bills, and to spread awareness of the importance they held for the state of Missouri," he added. "These organizations were eager to have the support of the governor. Nixon has decided to disregard the value these bills hold for all of Missouri. We are utterly disappointed with the governor's veto. It's a shame the governor essentially ignored Missouri agriculture."

MCA will be working with the state legislature to explore next steps, McCann concluded.
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