Testimony on House Bill 1430 (Corporate Farming)

To: House Agriculture Committee
From: Christopher Dodson, Executive Director
Subject: House Bill 1430
Date: February 15, 2001

The North Dakota Catholic Conference opposes House Bill 1430.

When the Roman Catholic bishops of North Dakota, Bishop James Sullivan and Bishop Paul Zipfel, issued their statement on rural issues, Giving Thanks Through Action, they called on citizens, the state government, and all persons of good will to “support the spirit and intent of North Dakota’s Corporate Farming Law to preserve and maintain farm ownership and control in the hands of family farmers.” House Bill 1430 is inconsistent with this call.

The bishops’ support for limiting farming and ranching to family owned and operated entities stems from their belief, supported by experience and social data, that such ownership best ensures a just system of agriculture. A just system of agriculture respects human life and dignity, strengthens families, fosters the common good, respects the integrity of creation, and provides food security. While we realize that our current system of agriculture often falls short of these ideals, we believe we can find better solutions to the problems in agriculture without threatening our family farming law.

We urge a Do Not Pass recommendation on HB 1430.