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Burgum: State corporate farm policies should be changed, for animal agriculture

Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at a Capitol news conference on a new NDSU ag-survey.
Dave Thompson
Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at a Capitol news conference on a new NDSU ag-survey.

Gov. Doug Burgum says North Dakota’s policies have put the brakes on development of animal agriculture.

Burgum spoke at a state capitol news conference, on the release of a new study from NDSU on agriculture's impact on the state's economy. His comments were focused on animal agriculture operations.

"Our own policies have put us in a position where South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota out-perform us in every from of animal agriculture, whether it's chickens, turkeys, milk, hogs — you name it — we're just way behind, Burgum said.

Burgum said those states are not working harder, or have better land, than North Dakota farmers and ranchers.

"It's our policies that are preventing us from aggregating the capital," Burgum said.

North Dakota's corporate farming law generally prohibits a corporation of limited liability company from owning or operating farms. The law does have some limited exceptions — generally to allow family corporations to farm, under a number of conditions.

Burgum said he was recently talking about the costs for feeding school children.

"The number one provider of meals for school children is the state of North Dakota," Burgum said. "We import milk into North Dakota."

Burgum said he toured a dairy operation in eastern Oregon, which he said was run by a North Dakota company.

"It had 36,000 dairy cattle," Burgum said. "In North Dakota, we're down now to about 15,000 dairy cattle."

Burgum said the Legislature should take a look at making changes.

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