Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation
Agricultural News and Information

Greg Gibson, Coordinator
Public Relations / Multimedia
1-800-227-8244 ext. 4154
or 601-977-4154

Eminent Domain reform signatures still needed

JACKSON – With less than two months left to get the required number of signatures on petitions, the Mississippi Farm Bureau is urging voters who have not yet signed the eminent domain reform petition to find one and sign it soon.

“We are having a surge in the number of signatures being sent in but we still have a ways to go to get the total number we need,” said Farm Bureau President David Waide. “This is an issue that will affect Mississippians for many years to come. The right to own and keep private property is one of the foundations that this country was founded on and it’s being taken away from us. We need to have this issue put on the ballot so the people of Mississippi can have their say.”

Because of the 2005 Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, the government can take an individual’s private property and turn it over to another private individual for the purpose of economic development. The Kelo decision erased the federal public use requirement by equating “public use” with “private use.” Under Kelo, local governments can condemn homes and businesses and transfer them to new owners as long as government officials think that the new owners will produce more money with the land.

“Forty-three states have passed new laws aimed at curbing the abuse of eminent domain for private use. Mississippi has not done so yet,” said Waide. “If a willing buyer and a willing seller can reach an agreement, then a deal can be made. But if a property owner doesn’t want to give up his land, he shouldn’t have to.”

Petitions are available at all county Farm Bureau offices across the state. Petition circulators are also going to festivals, shows, meetings, and businesses asking voters to sign the petition. If the required number of certified signatures is gathered, then the issue will be put on the November 2011 ballot for the voters to decide. For more information about this issue, visit



The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest general farm organization with more than 204,000 member-families statewide.  There are Farm Bureaus in all 82 counties in Mississippi where agriculture comprises a fundamental part of Mississippi 's economy.  Headquartered in Jackson , the federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural organization and is not associated with any arm of the government.  For more information about Farm Bureau, visit our website at

© 2007 Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation