Senate Bill 191 (and its House version, HB 2404) was proposed to amend the Kansas Corporate Farming Law. Among other provisions, the bill would have removed restrictions for agribusinesses with certain forms of ownership structure (e.g., corporation, trust) to operate in Kansas. Furthermore, the bill would have removed some requirements that farms be owned by families or that family members be active in the operation of the farms. This bill did not pass during the 2013 session, but the issue continues to be discussed and similar bills may be introduced in the future.
The purpose of the health impact assessment (HIA) was to examine how some provisions of this legislation might affect the health of Kansans, either positively or negatively. Testimony on the bill was provided by various stakeholder groups. Some indicated changes to the law would open opportunities for new agribusiness in the state, creating economic growth. Although the testimony varied, the most commonly identified potential impact was an increase in the number and size of swine and dairy operations.
This study analyzed six factors related to the expansion in the number and size of swine and dairy operations including employment, property values/taxes, population, water quantity, amount of waste produced and antibiotic use in animals. These factors can impact health.