Protecting private property rights is foundational to Missouri Farm Bureau. Building on recent eminent domain reforms related to high-voltage transmission line projects, MOFB is supporting legislation that requires utility companies to restore land to pre-con­struction capabilities. We are also pushing to give landowners more influence to address concerns before the Public Service (PSC) Commission (PSC). MOFB members are also concerned about foreign ownership of agricultural land and support reducing the 1% cap currently in place. MOFB believes there is nothing more fundamental to owning and operating a farm or ranch than property rights. 

Eminent domain should only be used for proven public needs, and private investors who do not serve Missouri citizens should not be able to use it.


MOFB continues to oppose out-of-state merchant transmission projects like Grain Belt Express and its associated Tiger Connector line. In 2022, MOFB led the charge to pass HB 2005, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson. Among the primary components of this legislation: prohibiting merchant transmission lines from using eminent domain unless the line can deliver electricity to a number of customers that is greater than or equal to the number of line miles in the state; return of involuntary easements to landowners within 60 days if the line is not constructed within seven years; fair market value in condemnation cases of 150 percent; and the appointment of a farmer located in the same county of the condemnation to be named to a panel of disinterested commissioner in determining damages owed.

As this legislation is not retroactive, GBE is proceeding with construction of its HVDC line. In addition, just days before HB 2005 went into effect, in late August 2022, GBE announced the addition of its “Tiger Connector” alternating current (AC) line to span Monroe, Audrain and Callaway Counties. After MOFB and other agriculture groups took them to task, GBE promised to abide by the fair market value provisions of HB 2005.

During this time, GBE filed with the PSC to amend its existing certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN), arguing the Tiger Connector project is part of its existing HVDC line and not a new project. MOFB and other agriculture groups disagreed and were granted intervenor status in the current case before the PSC.

MOFB Policy

We believe that Farm Bureau should use its resources and expertise to persuade public officials or candidates to respect private ownership of property and the chain of title that guarantees the ownership of private property.

We urge strict adherence to the Missouri “Private Property Rights” law which requires state governmental agencies to review and modify their proposed rules and regulations in order to prevent the further loss of private property rights. We favor passage of a similar bill at the federal level.

A property owner should be allowed to have a cause of action against a governmental entity to recover damages if such governmental entity applies a statute, rule or regulation that reduces the use of the individual’s property or the fair market value of the individual’s property.

We oppose the use of off-shore drilling fees for purchase of private lands.

We oppose the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) or similar legislation that would significantly increase funding for federal and state land acquisition.

Missouri Supreme Court rulings have upheld key provisions of Missouri’s eminent domain reform law enacted in 2006. If legal challenges weaken the law, we support necessary modifications to protect property rights.

We oppose government action that would deny, postpone or restrict the property rights of landowners without just compensation such as the Natural Streams Act, wetlands, Endangered Species Act, railway and utility abandonment, and reintroduction of fish and wildlife species.

The government acquisition of land and buildings should be severely restricted in cases where reasonable alternatives are available. We oppose the acquisition of land and buildings from an unwilling seller simply to keep development within a particular political boundary.

We support Missouri’s eminent domain reform law, which strengthens the protection of landowners from condemnation with assurance that needed rural infrastructure such as roads, power lines and water and sewer lines can be built in a timely and economical manner with equitable compensation granted to all affected landowners. We believe entities with condemnation authority should be required to consider alternate routes and to directly notify and publicly disclose routes for proposed right-of-way expansion to affected landowners.

We oppose the use of eminent domain for the acquisition of land to be resold to private owners or for the transfer of property from one private entity to another for the purpose of economic development. We believe that easements acquired by an entity with condemnation authority should return to the landowner if unused after ten years. We oppose granting eminent domain authority to cable companies or any other entities that do not already have eminent domain authority.

We believe eminent domain authority should not be used for purposes of private development or recreational facilities, and the term “public use” in eminent domain statutes and the state constitution excludes these purposes.

We support further restrictions on the use of eminent domain to acquire blighted property in both urban and rural areas.

We believe landowners in eminent domain cases should have five years from the time of the original settlement in which to negotiate claims for damage from construction and maintenance that may not have been confirmed at the time of the initial settlement.

We support changes to the Missouri Constitution which promote our established policy on property rights. Furthermore, if deemed to be a valuable tool to that end, we support the use of a Missouri Farm Bureau initiated initiative petition process to effect those changes.

We believe the activities of departments and agencies of the state and federal government should be more transparent and accountable to the taxpayer. Therefore, all departments and agencies of the state and federal government should be required to notify county commissioners and district legislators representing the county in writing, prior to negotiating a contract land purchase, option to purchase, lease, donation, easement agreement or taking by eminent domain.

We support Missouri strengthening state statutes to adopt an Agriculture Impact Mitigation Agreement (AIMA) program to better protect landowners subject to utility projects that impact agricultural land, and help restore land to pre-construction conditions.

We urge utilities to co-locate new electric transmission infrastructure with existing infrastructure when and where feasible, cost-effective, and consistent with good utility practice.