Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for June 15, 2022

Protecting Our Farmland

Farmland is a precious resource in our state, serving a wide range of functions. For starters, it’s the foundation of many family businesses and our state’s largest industry. It allows hardworking Missourians to put food not only on their plates, but the plates of others in the process. Farmland is a classroom, teaching the next generation lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Farmland is also home, where people live good, honest lives. And with 27.8 million acres of farmland across our state, this farmland is worth protecting.

Last month, the Missouri General Assembly passed an important piece of legislation aiming to protect our state’s farmland as well as its value. House Bill 2005 deals with the issue of eminent domain, a tool allowing governments and certain utilities to acquire private land for public use. During eminent domain proceedings, this legislation requires compensation for agriculture or horticulture land to be 150% of fair market value, as determined by the court.

The Legislature has been working on this issue for several years now, so I’m pleased to see it finally cross the legislative finish line this year. I’m even more pleased that the governor recently signed this bill into law. As I said earlier, our farmland is a precious resource. We should do everything we can to protect its value and the private property rights of Missourians in the process.

As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at