Tonawanda News

Columns

December 11, 2012

CONFER: Obama is a threat to farms

Tonawanda News — In 2010 and 2011 the Food and Drug Administration focused on the suppression of unpasteurized milk distribution across state lines. Among the targets of their stings were food clubs and the Amish. The arcane rules against raw milk were enforced — at gunpoint no less — despite the health benefits of the beverage and the freedom that people should have to willingly ingest the foods they want in the manner they’d like.

In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had a plan to override states’ rights and reclassify farming vehicles and implements as commercial vehicles, requiring hundreds of thousands of farm workers to get commercial drivers licenses (CDLs). Also, the language within those regulations would have reclassified farming as interstate commerce, which would have allowed federal control of all farming activities. Fortunately, a last minute flurry during the public comment period prevented these regulations from becoming the law of the land.

Later that year, the Department of Labor came out with a draft of new labor laws that would have forever harmed agriculture by preventing 14- to 17-year-olds from doing a wide variety of farming tasks, which included working with and around tractors and powered equipment and all acts of animal husbandry. This would have kept thousands of teens unemployed and prevented their exposure to the lifestyle of farming in their formative years. This was stopped by intense public feedback which had been led by this newspaper and columnist.

Those issues represent some of the more significant assaults Washington levied against farming in President Obama’s first term. Many more policies were broached, many more initiated. If what the Obama Administration did or wanted to do to agriculture over the first four years is any indication of what the next four will bring, farmers should take notice. Since the President doesn’t have to worry about reelection and the heads of the various offices know that they likely have just four years of job security left (and want to leave a legacy), farmers may be subject to some significant abuses by the administration.

Text Only
Columns
  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014