Potential Health Effects of Changes to the Kansas Corporate Farming Law

Impacts related to a possible increase in the number of large-scale swine and dairy operations

2 Min Read

Mar 27, 2015


Tatiana Y. Lin, M.A.,

Sheena L. Smith, M.P.P.,

Barb J. LaClair, M.H.A.


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 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. For example, people who have access to jobs enjoy better health and have slower declines in health status over time. Read the Executive Summary that reveals the key findings and recommendations from the study.

Quote "The health impact assessment intends to expand the policy dialogue ..."

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The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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