A lawmaker from North Dakota is advocating a piece of legislation that would exempt dairy and swine operations from the state’s anti-corporate farming law.
Sen. Terry Wanzek, R-Jamestown, says that hog operations and dairy operations are in a serious decline in North Dakota, and is hopeful that the new legislation may save those industries and give a boost to the state’s agricultural economy. Dairy production in North Dakota has dropped 42 percent in the past 10 years, and swine operations are on a similar decline, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
In addition to being a state senator, Wanzek is also a farmer.
Under the legislation, domestic corporations and limited liability companies would be allowed to operate dairy and hog farms, as long as the operations do not take up more than 640 acres of land.
North Dakota's law against corporate farming dates back as far as 1932. The law currently allows corporations with as many as 15 shareholders to own farms or ranches, under the stipulation that the shareholders are related.
Wanzek began his legislative career in 1993 when he was first elected to the state’s House of Representatives. He was elected to the Senate in 1995 and served in that chamber until 2003. After a four-year hiatus, Wanzek returned to the Senate in 2007.