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Court Upholds Ban on Anti-Farming Law

The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that South Dakota’s anti-corporate farming law is unconstitutional. Amendment “E” was approved by voters in 1998. It was designed to basically prohibit corporations from owning farms or farmland in South Dakota. Jeremy Freking, executive director, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, says his group opposed the provision from the

The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that South Dakota’s anti-corporate farming law is unconstitutional.

Amendment “E” was approved by voters in 1998. It was designed to basically prohibit corporations from owning farms or farmland in South Dakota.

Jeremy Freking, executive director, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, says his group opposed the provision from the start because it prevented small, family farmers from establishing limited liability corporations.

“Today’s farmer has to be more creative in terms of how they market their product and structure their business. This law tied their hands behind their backs,” he explains.

“South Dakota is an ideal state for agriculture with some of the lowest basis for grain that there is. Why not feed that grain right here in the state?” asks Freking.

The South Dakota Farm Bureau, state Sheep Growers Association and a handful of farmers and ranchers filed the lawsuit against the amendment. It was originally ruled unconstitutional in May 2002.