ND voters add farmer protection to constitution

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Associated Press

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 2:03 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is the first state in the nation to enshrine the right to farm in its constitution.

Voters passed a state constitutional amendment on Tuesday that guarantees the right of farmers to engage in "modern" agriculture and protects their right "to employ agricultural technology, modern livestock production and ranching practices."

Scott Hendrick of the National Conference of State Legislatures says the amendment could inspire similar efforts in other farm states.

The amendment was aimed at the Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups that have been pushing legislation in various states.

But it's broadly worded, and even North Dakota officials say they don't know what its full impact will be.

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