Tonawanda News

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • WALLACE: Be part of the solution I recently attended the Town of Tonawanda's Comprehensive Plan update meeting on Tuesday at the Brounshidle VFW Post in Kenmore. I went as a newspaper reporter but also as a resident of the Village of Kenmore and Town of Tonawanda.

    April 24, 2014

  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • GUEST VIEW: What young people aren't learning in college The results are distressing to say the least. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of college graduates â€" graduates! â€" knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, just 42 percent knew the Battle of the Bulge was fought during World War II, and not even two in five could identify term limits for their senators and representatives.

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo