Senate bills aimed at the Tennessee farming industry advanced this week, passing in committee and on the Senate floor.
The Tennessee Legislature has always been concerned with making our state a hospitable and profitable place for agriculture, and the 109th General Assembly saw some great bills moving that purpose forward this week.
SB 2591, sponsored by Republican Leader Mark Norris, makes an amendment to the Right to Farm Act. This act states that a farm is neither a public nor a private nuisance. The amendment adds that new farming operations are also protected under this act, meaning that a person who begins a new farming operation on their farm land is still covered under Tennessee Code.
This would not disallow individuals from filing a justified nuisance suit, but it gives farmers who are doing things correctly a layer of protection and the freedom to continue their work.
The second bill is SB 1934, which is sponsored by Senator Ken Yager. The bill clarifies existing law regarding the regulation of seeds in Tennessee by giving the Commissioner of Agriculture the authority to regulate them.
The goal of the legislation is to prevent potentially harmful seeds coming from other parts of the nation and the world from entering circulation in Tennessee, so that farmers can continue to guarantee good products for their consumers and the agriculture for which Tennessee is known can continue to grow.