Referendum-Enabling Legislation Banning Corporate Farming – Kansas

Date: 21 Nov 2008 | posted in: agriculture | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Kansas law allows counties to vote on whether to oppose corporate farming and many have done so. Over 20 counties have voted to keep corporate hog farms out of their county and more county votes are occurring all the time. However, Murphy Farms, despite its multistate ownership of nearly 300,000 sows claims to not be a corporate farm. A lawsuit is being prepared to challenge Murphy’s claim.


Kansas Statutes §17-5908
Chapter 17.–Corporations
Article 59.–Agricultural Corporations

17-5908. Swine production facilities; establishment in county, procedure. (a)(1) The board of county commissioners, by resolution, may permit a swine production facility, as defined in K.S.A. 17-5903, and amendments thereto, to be established within the county. Such resolution shall be published once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official county newspaper. The resolution shall take effect 60 days after final publication unless a valid petition in opposition to the same is filed.

(2)If within 60 days of the final publication of the resolution, a valid protest petition to submit the resolution to the qualified voters of the county is signed by qualified electors of the county equal in number to not less than 5% of the electors of the county who voted for the office of secretary of state at the last preceding general election at which such office was elected and is filed with the county election officer, the county election officer shall submit the question of whether a swine production facility shall be allowed to be established in such county at the next state or county-wide regular or special election.

(b) (1) The board of county commissioners, upon a petition filed in accordance with paragraph (b)(2), shall submit to the qualified electors of the county a proposition to permit a swine production facility, as defined in K.S.A. 17-5903, and amendments thereto, to be established within the county.

(2) A petition to submit a proposition to the qualified voters of a county pursuant to this section shall be filed with the county election officer. The petition shall be signed by qualified electors of the county equal in number to not less than 5% of the electors of the county who voted for the office of secretary of state at the last preceding general election at which such office was elected. The following shall appear on the petition:

"We request an election to determine whether a corporate swine production facility shall be allowed to be established in _______ county, pursuant to K.S.A. 17-5904."

(3) Upon the submission of a valid petition calling for an election pursuant to this subsection, the county election officer shall submit the question of whether a swine production facility shall be allowed to be established in such county at the next state or county-wide regular or special election which occurs more than 60 days after the petition is filed with the county election officer.

(c) If a majority of the votes cast and counted are in opposition to allowing swine production facilities to be established in such county, the county election officer shall transmit a copy of the result to the secretary of state who shall publish in the Kansas register the result of such election and that swine production facilities are not allowed to be established in such county.

(d) If a majority of the votes cast and counted is in favor of the proposition, the county election officer shall transmit a copy of the result to the secretary of state who shall publish in the Kansas register the result of such election and that swine production facilities are allowed to be established in such county.

(e) The election provided for by this section shall be conducted, and the votes counted and canvassed, in the manner provided by law for question submitted elections of the county.

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