BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Lawmakers say House Bill 1371 will provide a boost to livestock production in North Dakota.
The bill would make it possible for farmers to operate cattle, hogs, or poultry by partnering with corporate organizations.

“What this does is it modernizes it. It brings freedom to our farm and ranch families,” said Daryl Lies, President of North Dakota Farm Bureau.

According to Governor Doug Burgum, loosening corporate farm restrictions is a main goal he is wanting to address.

The bill would allow a corporation to own up to 160 acres of farmland. However some have concerns over corporations coming in and owning North Dakota land.

“Corporation is made up of people, and a corporation involves people. It can involve a lot of people, yes. It could involve people from out of state. But if we want to grow agriculture we need the investment. We need tools that every other business utilizes,” said Lies.

Daryl Lies says farmers and ranchers in our state are at a disadvantage.

“We have a great opportunity. We have the best people for farming and ranching in North Dakota. We have the best opportunity that is going to waste. And these laws have not protected farms from going out of business,” said Lies.

And swine and dairy numbers have steadily decreased throughout the years.

“30 years ago when I first advocated, we had a thousand or more hog farms. We had a thousand or more dairy farms. We are less than 50 dairy farms right now, and we are under 150 hog farms,” said Lies.

Lies says its time to start protecting farmers and ranchers and letting them have the freedom and tools to succeed.

Tomorrow, on KX News, why some farmers are against the new bill.