PIX—-legis rep thomas ranching bill
BISMARCK – A bill that seeks to modernize ranching in North Dakota law has made its way through several amendments in a conference committee and passed the full body of the North Dakota State House for a second time Thursday.
House Bill 1371, the corporate ranch bill, seeks to allow outside investment for family farms and ranches to either combine their own resources or get resources from out-of-state or in-state corporations.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Paul Thomas, R-Dis. 6, Velva, said those are the investments that are allowed in the bill while still maintaining the important control with the individual farm and ranch family members that are actively engaged in the day-to-day management of those operations. He said outside capital into those investments are limited. The acreage is also limited. Thomas described the bill as a 2023 modernization bill that is all about boosting animal agriculture in North Dakota.
“It will permit dairies, livestock feeding lots, and swine and poultry production to flourish and create economic engines that will bolster our state’s economy and help revitalize our rural communities,” Thomas said on the House floor.
Thomas added that the bill received clean-up language from its conference committee, which is a committee comprised of members from the appropriate committees from both the House and Senate.
“This bill received a lot of compromise by all the farm organizations throughout this state, as well as producers working actively to advance this,” said Thomas.
The bill passed 70-20 and will be sent to the Senate which has previously passed it before amendments were added on a 41-6 vote. If HB1371 passes the Senate, it will be sent to Gov. Doug Burgum for his signature. Burgum has already expressed his support for the bill.