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Letter: Gov. Doug Burgum sold out North Dakota by signing the corporate farming bill

"With the signing of House Bill 1371, successful software businessman Gov. Doug Burgum now wants to sell our farms to the highest out-of-state corporate bidders," Sharon, N.D. resident Ben Vig writes.

Letter to the editor FSA

The storm that just wouldn’t quit, the 68th legislative session, is finally over. Let’s start to assess the damage in farm country.

With a super majority, the North Dakota Republican Party increased state spending to $19.5 billion. Compared to the conservative Republicans in 2009, a budget of $8.5 billion.

With the signing of House Bill 1371, successful software businessman Gov. Doug Burgum now wants to sell our farms to the highest out-of-state corporate bidders. Allowing out-of-state corporations to buy land will never be a solution to challenges faced in rural communities. The repetitive corporate mergers taking place in the last 20 years with livestock, meat packers, stock yards, seed companies, financial banks and dealerships aren’t enough; land is already escalating in price. How can beginning farmers compete? Burgum wants corporations to have our farmland too and it should be pointed out nobody asked for this. Seventy-five percent of the voters rejected this idea in 2016 and members of both parties voted against it.

There used to be several ways to gauge success in agriculture, one being people living on the land, as stewards of God’s creation. Another was when three or four generations could gather around a dinner table to share a moment, a harvest, and know that what they were doing would be sustainable for the next generation. But corporations invited to our state by Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring will gauge their success by the stockholder payback, not by the strength of family or community.

In the Art Link documentary, "When the Landscape is Quiet Again" there is a reference that North Dakota is not for sale. In the aftermath of the storm, remember that it was Burgum who sold us out to corporate agriculture so he can claim to be a successful businessman.

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