SD Secretary of State
Elections & Voter Registration
2002 Election Information
Primary Election Ballot Question Text
Primary Election June 4, 2002
The following amendment to the State Constitution is submitted
to the voters by the Legislature. The amendment will not become effective unless
approved by majority vote.
Constitutional Amendment A
Title: An amendment to Article XVII of the South Dakota
Constitution relating to restrictions on corporate farming.
Attorney General Explanation:
The South Dakota Constitution was amended in 1998 to prohibit
certain corporations and other limited liability business entities from farming,
ranching, and owning agricultural land. This amendment is commonly referred to
as "Amendment E".
Constitutional Amendment A would repeal "Amendment E", and
replace it with a less restrictive set of prohibitions.
A vote "yes" will repeal the currently existing provisions of
the Constitution, and replace it with the proposed language.
A vote "no" will keep the current provisions.
Section 1. That Article XVII, section 21 of the Constitution of
the State of South Dakota, be repealed.
Section 2. That Article XVII, section 22 of the Constitution of the State of
South Dakota, be repealed.
Section 3. That Article XVII, section 23 of the Constitution of the State of
South Dakota, be repealed.
Section 4. That Article XVII, section 24 of the Constitution of the State of
South Dakota, be repealed:
Section 5. That Article XVII of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be
amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
� 25. No corporation may engage in farming or acquire, or otherwise obtain an
interest, whether legal, beneficial, or otherwise, in any agricultural land in
this state. For purposes of this section, the term, farming, means the ownership
of livestock for more than two consecutive weeks, or the cultivation of land for
the production of crops or horticultural products. For purposes of this section,
the term, corporation, means any legal entity that limits the liability of any
investor or owner, except:
(1) An entity in which all investors are natural persons, and
one of the investors is actively engaged in the day-to-day management of the
farm land or farm operation;
(2) An entity in which a majority of the voting rights are owned
by qualified persons who own agricultural land or an interest in a farming
operation. For purposes of this subdivision, a qualified person is either a
natural person or an entity that meets the requirements of subdivision (1) of
(3) An entity that engages in farming primarily for scientific,
medical, research, or experimental purposes;
(4) An entity that owns only a mineral right, a right-of-way, a
utility easement, a transportation easement, a water line easement, a drainage
easement, a telecommunication easement, or any less than fee simple interest in
land which is held primarily for a nonfarming purpose or use;
(5) An entity that purchases any interest in agricultural land
primarily for a nonfarming purpose, if the nonfarming purpose is applied to the
land within five years of the date of purchase. This exemption applies if the
land is used for the nonfarming purpose, and if any farming operations on such
land are merely incidental to the primary use and are conducted by contract or
lease to a person or entity who is not otherwise prohibited from farming or
owning agricultural land in this state;
(6) An entity that is a lender and acquires land or livestock as
collateral on a debt, if the lender disposes of the land within five years and
the livestock within one year of acquisition;
(7) A trustee holding lands or livestock for the benefit of
persons or entities who are not prohibited from farming or owning agricultural
land in South Dakota;
(8) An entity or person with a vested property interest in
agricultural land or farming on June 1, 2002, or who lawfully engaged in farming
or owned agricultural land in this state
on November 1, 1998. However, no expansion is allowed under this
exemption beyond the size and extent of the farming operation on June 1, 2002;
(9) A nonprofit entity as defined in law by the South Dakota