Dear Editor,

I attended the forum on SB391. As a retired senior, I’m concerned about letting foreign country people getting Missouri farmland. I’m sure there are Missouri folk who could and would love to get this land and have a family farm and live and raise a family. Of course, the no. 1 crop would be kids.

If the House and Senate and governor could get the right-to-work law and SB391, why couldn’t they get laws and bills to help Missouri people get farmland? Some sort of Homestead Act and the state own the land and make the land affordable so it could be worked and make the farm ranch livable and be a true farmstead.

There is lots of abandoned land to be had and worked. I hear of repopulating our rural areas. With the help of the county extension agent and the Department of Agriculture with help and ideas, why not give people the help to move back on Missouri land?

Laws could be passed so there would be no resale of the land. If they don’t want the land anymore, just move and leave the land and perhaps another would-be farmer could take over. An older tractor and machinery could be used, even draft animals. This would be for someone to work and use their brain power and muscles. No farm subsidies. I’m sure some would fail but some would make it a go.

Our state has a vast array of different lands and soils, lots of different animals and crops. Why is land just lying there, growing weeds and brush and trees? If the land can grow a weed, why not a plant to eat or feed stock? If the land can grow brush, why not a fruit tree?

A neighbor had on one field rye, crimson clover, vetch, wheat and turnips. The growth was so thick you could hardly walk through it. Great feed for livestock. Each plant had a different height and it was good to see the forage crop and the thought of doing so was good to see.

I also would hope for beginner farm and ranch people to get the land. So many different animals could be had for different areas. Two important things would be an old Buzz Box welder and oxygen/acetylene tanks.

Is our nation so brainwashed on mega-farms and mega-hog operations and chickens also, that we can’t think of a beginner farm or farm couple? The laws and rules could be done by our House and Senate and governor. Yes, some could be ignorant of farm work, but someone willing to learn and work to me would be more welcome than another country taking over Missouri farmland.

I’m sure there will be lots of thoughts and people wondering where all of these ideas came from. But it’s an idea and why not see if some can work and add on to these ideas. Status quo isn’t working. Why not a change?

I’m sure some people are thinking, “Just let me on the property and I can make it into a farm again. The old house can be fixed up and the barn also.”

People want a hand up, not a handout. Let’s get people out of their parents’ house and grandparents’ basement and get them off their bloody knees and get them up and working for their own good and Missouri’s good. Lots of heritage types of animals can be used.

Why not at least get legislation talks started and see what laws can be passed and signed into law? Would it be too much to ask the Missouri House and Senate to consider such a task? This could be a great bill if passed. Perhaps call it the Missouri Farm Repopulation Bill. Maybe so, maybe not. Why not try?

Ernie Rucker


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