Farmers Union to Intervene in Corporate Farming Lawsuit

BISMARCK – North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) announced today that it is filing a motion to intervene in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of North Dakota’s corporate farming statute. State law prohibits non-family farm corporations or LLCs from owning farmland or engaging in production agriculture.

If allowed to intervene, Farmers Union will be able to participate in the ongoing litigation, because the outcome of it directly affects NDFU and its members.

“Farmers Union led the fight that created our corporate farming law back in the ‘30s and we’ve defended it, repeatedly, ever since,” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “As a result, we have a strong family farm and ranch culture that is the envy of other states and the backbone of our economy.”

North Dakota Farm Bureau filed the lawsuit in early June, just prior to primary election results of a law referred by Farmers Union that would have allowed corporate ownership of land by dairy and swine operations. That measure was defeated by 75 percent of voters and failed to pass in a single county.

“It is clear that North Dakotans want family farms as their primary business structure and system of agricultural production,” said Watne. This is the only system that provides rural and urban stability, national prosperity, and preserves human and natural resources and the dignity of the individual and family, he added.

“Allowing corporate farming here in North Dakota is a step in the wrong direction,” emphasized Watne. “We will continue to work for the interests of family farmers and our rural communities.”

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