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Right to farm does not trump local government powers

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed that Missouri’s Constitutional Right to Farm Amendment does not trump all municipal power. In Vimont v. Christian County Health Department, (Mo. App. S.D. Oct. 11, 2016), the County Commission ordered a dairy producer to abate his off-premise sale of raw milk, which was prohibited by county ordinance. The dairy producer sued, arguing that the Right to Farm Amendment guaranteed his right to such sales. The court rejected the argument, holding that the constitutional right to farm is “subject to local government powers fully authorized and conferred by article VI of Missouri’s constitution.” As the County was authorized by statute and the Missouri Constitution to pass ordinances enhancing public health and combating disease, it could regulate the diary producer’s sale and distribution of raw milk.

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