Just wondering how you people out there feel about these two pieces of legislation. If you don't know, you should- If you don't care, you will. Google them up, then report back with some thoughts on how they will affect you. or
Mitch Mcconnell, the Republican who will replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the house, has sworn to block passage of near everything for the next two years to make the President powerless.
He has made it a condition of his approval for anything, that Congress must vote to borrow another $700 billion from China to fund tax cuts for those with annual incomes over a $quarter million per year.
Yesterday he blocked extension of unemployment benefits just to show he is serious.
That NY Times article talked more about imported food than US production. We already have the USDA, which is supposed to be safeguarding our production. I am a Blueberry grower and have already been thinking about getting out of it because of all the paper work and regulations. I've got about 20 acres in production, a small grower, but many farmers are as small as half an acre. It presently costs a minimum of $700 to get your operation inspected anually under the GAP program, which is killing the little guys, me, especially when you add the costs of meeting the requirements, which include two water tests for each irrigation well used each year and if you use another source, it's more frequent. My wife has a flock of free range chickens and sells the eggs and birds. There is no way that that type of operation could survive under any legislation. Govtrack insider.com and Mainstreet insider.org both have articles slanted more towards the impact on the US farmer. I think if the USDA isn't doing it's job, Congress should fix that and not pass more legislation and make more hoops to jump through! Hope you are right about it not passing. I am all for safe food, but this is scary.
Thanks for the reply. I'm not the producer myself, but the neighbor who operates and harvests my 10 acre apple orchard together with his larger one is facing the same problem. Plus here a major problem is determining that prospective employees have credible papers. He told me another grower refused someone for bogus papers, next day saw the guy visiting the local priest, and the following day the guy applied to work for a third grower showing excellent documentation. Is your production mostly mechanized?
Indeed it is scary RedBeard. I am afraid it is coming though. Soon cattle will be tracked and will all have to be ID'd.- implanted chips etc- the ball is already rolling on it.-As you probably already know, strict records have to be kept on herbicides used etc. I have a restricted use chemical license and have to keep a record of wind direction, times of application, amounts per acre etc in a special book issued to me. Our neighbor uses pesticides and has to have those in a special locked shed meeting certain requirements. Of coarse , we have some of this to blame on the poor environmental standards of a few careless folks back when. I remember when I was small , a farmer had hundreds of the old metal 5 gallon cans poison use to come in laying all over the place in this slough next to hwy 82. It was pretty common because they had no where to take them. Now things have gone to the other extreme it seems. wonder what will happen if the small farmers like all of us are put out??.....I know the environment needs protecting and I am really ticked at BP and that cover-up while the big guys get a way with a slap on the wrist. It's all in ethics I believe. If some sleaze bags hadn't sold condemned meat to the markets and folks/ companies hadn't misused the chemicals then a lot of this wouldn't be coming at us little folk. Hopefully , we have a chance with the new leadership- a much better chance than before at any rate. The key word is ethics. Bordercollie
Up here they can give us a social security # on a grocery bag and we have to accept it. If the number comes back as bad, they can just give us another one which we resubmit. Someone around here prints beautiful green cards and we can't decide if they are legal or not. They get free lawyers but we get fined if we hire them. They go down the road to the next farm. I really don't understand why the Feds don't do something about this problem. There has to be money in it for someone. All my harvesting is by machine now and I can get away with 2 to 4 workers who I find locally.
The chemical situation was very bad and out of controll. We now have one of those fancy sheds and might get another. The paperwork isn't too bad except for the timing! Sometimes eating and sleeping a little more would be nice. They have been tracking our fruit for a couple years now and I don't really mind, but where will it end. I don't think more legislation from politicians who don't know which end of a shovel to use is the answer. My fruit is tested already and think your right about the sleaze bags and big companies. I think Washington should be worrying about money, jobs, the border and a couple wars, none of which they seem to be able to fix, instead of farming, which they know nothing about! Maybe they would feel better if they think they actually did something! Guess thats my 3 cents. Good ethics are really good, just getting scarce.
Red Beard, We have no help on this farm. It's just family. Mainly my sister and me and of coarse my b-i-l the owner when he's not at his town job. I love working alone and I am I guess what you call a loner and I am lucky not to have to deal with the labor problems you are talking about. You know the old saying about closing the gate after the cow gets out. Well, we've got to start somewhere.