Session of 1999
House Concurrent Resolution No. 5009
By Representative Larkin
11 A PROPOSITION to amend article 12 of the constitution of the state of
12 Kansas by adding a new section thereto, relating to the corporate own-
13 ership of agricultural land.
17 Be it resolved by the Legislature of the State of Kansas, two-thirds of the
18 members elected (or appointed) and qualified to the House of Repre-
19 sentatives and two-thirds of the members elected (or appointed) and
20 qualified to the Senate concurring therein:
21 Section 1. The following proposition to amend the constitution of the
22 state of Kansas shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the state
23 for their approval or rejection: Article 12 of the constitution of the state
24 of Kansas is amended by adding a new section thereto to read as follows:
25 "§ 7. Prohibition on corporate farming. (a) No corporation
26 or limited partnership shall acquire, or otherwise obtain an interest,
27 whether legal, beneficial, or otherwise, in any title to real estate
28 used for farming or ranching in this state, or engage in farming or
30 (b) As used in this amendment:
31 (1) "Corporation" means a domestic or foreign corporation or-
32 ganized for profit or nonprofit purposes or any partnership of which
33 such corporation is a partner.
34 (2) "Farming" or "ranching" means the cultivation of land for
35 the production of agricultural crops, fruits or other horticultural
36 products, or the ownership, keeping or feeding of animals for the
37 production of livestock or livestock products.
38 (3) "Limited partnership" means a limited partnership organ-
39 ized under the laws of any state of the United States or any country,
40 other than limited partnerships in which the partners are members
41 of a family, or a trust created for the benefit of a member of that
42 family, related to one another all of whom have a common ancestor
43 within the fourth degree of relationship, by blood or by adoption,
44 or the spouse or the stepchildren of any such persons, at least one
45 of whom is a person residing on or actively engaged in the day to
46 day labor and management of the farm or ranch, and none of whom
HCR 5009 2
1 are nonresident aliens. This shall not include general partnerships.
2 (4) "Family farm" or "ranch corporation" means a corporation
3 engaged in farming or ranching or the ownership of agricultural
4 land, in which the majority of the voting stock is held by members
5 of a family, or a trust created for the benefit of a member of that
6 family, related to one another all of whom have a common ancestor
7 within the fourth degree of relationship, by blood or by adoption,
8 or the spouses or the stepchildren of any such persons at least one
9 of whom is a person residing on or actively engaged in the day to
10 day labor and management of the farm or ranch and none of whose
11 stockholders are nonresident aliens and none of whose stockholders
12 are corporations or partnerships, unless all of the stockholders or
13 partners of such entities are persons related within the fourth de-
14 gree of relationship, by blood or by adoption, to the majority of
15 stockholders in the family farm corporation.
16 (c) The restrictions in subsection (a) shall not apply to:
17 (1) A family farm or ranch corporation.
18 (2) Nonprofit corporations.
19 (3) Kansas native American tribal corporations.
20 (4) Agricultural land, which, as of the effective date of this
21 amendment, is being farmed or ranched, or which is owned or
22 leased, or in which there is a legal or beneficial interest in title
23 directly or indirectly owned, acquired or obtained by a corporation
24 or limited partnership so long as such land or other interest in title
25 shall be held in continuous ownership or under continuous lease by
26 the same such corporation or limited partnership, and including
27 such additional ownership or leasehold as is reasonably necessary
28 to meet the requirements of pollution control regulations. For the
29 purposes of this exemption, land purchased on a contract signed as
30 of the effective date of this amendment, shall be considered as
31 owned on the effective date of this amendment.
32 (5) A farm or ranch operated for research or experimental pur-
33 poses, if any commercial sales from such farm or ranch are only
34 incidental to the research or experimental objectives of the corpo-
35 ration or limited partnership.
36 (6) Agricultural land operated by a corporation for the purpose
37 of raising poultry.
38 (7) Land leased by alfalfa processors for the production of
40 (8) Agricultural land operated for the purpose of growing seed,
41 nursery plants or sod.
42 (9) Mineral rights on agricultural land.
43 (10) Agricultural land acquired or leased by a corporation or
HCR 5009 3
1 limited partnership for immediate or potential use for nonfarming
2 or nonranching purposes. A corporation or limited partnership may
3 hold such agricultural land in such acreage as may be necessary to
4 its nonfarm or nonranch business operation, but pending the de-
5 velopment of such agricultural land for nonfarm or nonranch pur-
6 poses, not to exceed a period of five years, such land may not be
7 used for farming or ranching except under lease to a family farm or
8 ranch corporation or a nonlimited partnership and noncorporate
9 farm or ranch.
10 (11) Agricultural lands or livestock acquired by a corporation or
11 limited partnership by process of law in the collection of debts, or
12 by any procedures for the enforcement of a lien, encumbrance or
13 claim thereon, whether created by mortgage or otherwise. Any
14 lands so acquired shall be disposed of within a period of five years
15 and shall not be used for farming or ranching prior to being dis-
16 posed of, except under a lease to a family farm or ranch corporation
17 or a nonlimited partnership and noncorporate farm or ranch.
18 (12) A bona fide encumbrance taken for purposes of security.
19 (13) Custom spraying, fertilizing or harvesting.
20 (14) Livestock futures contracts, livestock purchased for slaugh-
21 ter or livestock purchased and resold within two weeks.
22 (d) If a family farm corporation, which has qualified under all
23 the requirements of a family farm or ranch corporation, ceases to
24 meet the defined criteria, such corporation shall have 50 years, if
25 the ownership of the majority of the stock of such corporation con-
26 tinues to be held by persons related to one another all of whom
27 have a common ancestor within the fourth degree of relationship,
28 by blood or by adoption, or the spouse or the stepchildren of any
29 such persons, and their landholdings are not increased, to either
30 requalify as a family farm corporation or dissolve and return to per-
31 sonal ownership.
32 (e) The secretary of state shall monitor corporate and limited
33 partnership agricultural land purchases and corporate and limited
34 partnership farming and ranching operations, and notify the attor-
35 ney general of any possible violations. If the attorney general has
36 reason to believe that a corporation or limited partnership is vio-
37 lating this amendment, the attorney general shall commence an
38 action in district court to enjoin any pending illegal land purchase,
39 or livestock operation, or to force divestiture of land held in violation
40 of this amendment. The court shall order any land held in violation
41 of this amendment to be divested within two years. If land so or-
42 dered by the court has not been divested within two years, the court
43 shall declare the land escheated to the state of Kansas.
HCR 5009 4
1 (f) If the secretary of state or attorney general fails to perform
2 the duties as directed by this amendment, Kansas citizens and en-
3 tities shall have standing in district court to seek enforcement.
4 (g) The Kansas legislature may enact, by general law, further
5 restrictions prohibiting certain agricultural operations that the leg-
6 islature deems contrary to the intent of this amendment."
7 Sec. 2. The following statement shall be printed on the ballot with
8 the amendment as a whole:
9 "Explanatory statement. The purpose of this amendment is to pro-
10 hibit corporations and limited partnerships from acquiring agricul-
11 tural land or engaging in farming or ranching.
12 "A vote for this proposition favors the prohibition on corporations
13 and limited partnerships from engaging in farming or ranching.
14 "A vote against this proposition favors leaving the decision of who
15 is permitted to engage in farming and ranching to the discretion of
16 the legislature."
17 Sec. 3. This resolution, if approved by two-thirds of the members
18 elected (or appointed) and qualified to the House of Representatives and
19 two-thirds of the members elected (or appointed) and qualified to the
20 Senate, shall be entered on the journals, together with the yeas and nays.
21 The secretary of state shall cause this resolution to be published as pro-
22 vided by law and shall cause the proposed amendment to be submitted
23 to the electors of the state at the general election in the year 2000 unless
24 a special election is called at a sooner date by concurrent resolution of
25 the legislature, in which case it shall be submitted to the electors of the
26 state at the special election.