Farm News

Jul 11 2013

Chances are you don’t keep up with the farm news. But maybe you should. Because something that’s happening to farmers now could have a serious impact on your future. In 2011, Congress passed the Food Safety Moderization Act. It was a well-intentioned bill meant to prevent food contamination. Now, the FDA is using that law to write reams of new farm regulations. They say they’re just proposals and won’t be finalized for a couple of years. But some farmers already see a tsunami of government red tape and bureaucracy hurtling toward them, and they’re deciding it’s just not worth it anymore. reports that farmer Don Bessemer, who used to grow all sorts of vegetables in the Akron area, has shut down his farmer’s market, laid off all his workers and planted nothing but soybeans. He’s seen the new FDA proposals that will require farmers to track every vegetable from seed to sale, and it’s just too much to handle and still turn a profit. Don’s the third generation of Bessemers who’ve farmed for 117 years. He says his family has never poisoned anyone with an ear of corn. He doesn’t want to quit farming, but he’s being forced to by a new plague: government over-regulation. Chances are, he won’t be the only one. Don said, “I can fight the bugs, I can fight the lack of rain, but when the guy comes with a clipboard, what are you going to do?” And I’d add that when government bureaucrats who’ve never set foot on a farm drive farmers out of business, what are we all going to eat? Clipboards?

Comments 1-5 of 6

  • Terry Jones

    07/15/2013 02:07 PM

    we have a very small farm in Alaska and this scares me. Not sure where all this will end but when the farmers stop farming the world will stop eating..thank you Mr. Huckabee for keeping us informed. Enjoy your show every week on Fox and your postings on Facebook.

  • Idalee Mick

    07/15/2013 12:58 PM

    Large scale farming operations are not sustainable longterm. The local farmer is our best oopportunity to turn the health of this nation around with organic principles that save our soil and with sustainable practices of rotation along with allowing the soil to "rest" every few years to recover. Same principle in grass fed "pasture" cows followed by "pasture" chickens to bring back the biodiversity in our soils.

  • Susan Hillyer

    07/15/2013 12:37 PM

    Good Morning Mike & Staff,

    Having had a career in the Grocery industry as a Director with Bristol Farms, Safeway Eastern Division and Regional Marketing Coordinator with Southern Pacific Whole Foods I have opinions about growing & food distribution.
    Four years ago I started volunteering at the local Torrance Farmers Market in Southern California. At the time there were 63 farmers traveling from all the growing regions of California South of Fresno to San Diego At this local farmers market I met small family farmers that rely on this sales format for their livelihood. They own their businesses, some their land, and their homes, support their families and put their children through school. This is a respectable career. It's been in their families for generations.
    The Department of Agriculture is responsible for the ordinances put in place to assure that farmers comply with the regulations.
    I find that the Department of Agriculture needs a shakeup. They arn't bad and I beleive in their mission however out of touch. They need to know what the real world is. They need to be a farmer for a day. They need to know what a "to do" list looks like that must be done in one day not in a couple days, week or after having a meeting to discuss. They need to know what a day of work looks like and that when you’re off you’re not really off.

    To see how this is working (or not) I'm not confident that someone from Agriculture sporting a clipboard with another set of "compliances" is going to help the public and certainly not supporting the farmer. I would like to be wrong.
    A friend posted this post on my Facebook Page. I will not here that it irratates me that food is political. I am told that liberals have more concern about our farmers and sourcing of food. Really?

    Appreciate your voice on this matter.


    Susan Hillyer

  • Mrs.John R. Fulton

    07/15/2013 12:30 PM

    Our family came to Ky with Dan Boone. Been farming ever since. Giving our farms to our kids now to keep the govt. from taking them when we pass. Have no idea what the kids will do to hold on to 4th generation farms though. Had a cow die here while back. we were told we had to pay the local gov. to come out. pay them to remove the cow. Pay them to haul cow to land fill. Pay a fee to the land fill. and on and on it goes. Used to tie her to a tractor and pull her to the back end of 500 acres and let nature take over.

  • Virginia Yarbrough

    07/15/2013 10:46 AM

    Sadly, we will be eating food from China where there is no FDA regulation. I am a California Farmer and I get so angry when I see our produce aisles and frozen vegetable department filled with fruits and vegetables grown everywhere from Mexico to China, to Honduras...and not exotic fruits and vegetables, things like corn, tomatoes and broccoli.I refuse to buy them and I speak up and tell the grocer. Farming is really the last industry that we have and our government is going to kill it too. Foods from other countries should not be allowed to be in our market place unless they meet the same requirements as the foods we produce here. Free trade is not necessarily fair trade.

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