01 August 2011
Once again, another attack on our food supply by government. This time it's the U. S. Department of Transportation. Specifically, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a part of USDOT, wants to reclassify farm vehicles as commercial motor vehicles, and require anyone operating any type of farm equipment to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (SOURCE). Farm vehicle operators could possibly even have to keep logs like truck drivers limiting the amount of time they spend operating the tractor or whatever which would include mandatory downtime.
Here is a report filed by KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas.
There are a few things to think about here. One, this is more regulation by unelected government officials. Such arbitrary regulation by government agencies bypasses the entire legislative process and therefore bypasses the will of We The People. You notice that neither the FMCSA nor USDOT brought this before Congress which is by design. Next, what is considered a farm vehicle could be extended to pick-up trucks and even ATV's used by many farmers.
And what about garden tractors that are used part of the time for plowing and cultivating gardens? As precedents have already been set in some localities, someone selling produce from their garden can be considered having a commercial farming operation. As we all know, government regulations are never static, but always expand annually. Quietly, without Congressional approval. It's not hard to see how far reaching this proposal could go. Like the farmer in the video said, how is the driving test going to be administered? Drive the tractor to the Department of Public Safety? Government getting crazier, again.
The next thing to consider is the authority granted to government under this proposal. If enacted, the authorities would have the power to come onto private property to check to make sure that anyone driving a tractor, pick-up truck, ATV, lawn tractor, or any other vehicle being used for any type of food production had a CDL. Imagine getting a ticket for driving a tractor on a privately owned farm for not having a CDL.
For what few family farms are left, this would prove to be the final nail in the coffin to drive them out of business entirely. Requiring a CDL would keep other family members from operating farm machinery until they were 21 years old. Eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year olds would be able to drive a car from coast-to-coast, but not a tractor on their dad's farm. The cost of hiring professional drivers would be prohibitive. The large agricultural companies would pass on the cost to the consumer, meaning the cost of food would go up . . . again.
Where this threatens our food supply is the cost of implementation. More family farms would be driven out of business reducing our domestic food production even more than over the past thirty-five years or so. There has been a consistent pattern over the past few years of the government attempting to exert more and more control over the food supply, everything from classifying a garden as a commercial farming operation to outright raids on food co-ops and feeding the poor organizations.
What I would like to hear from someone at the USDOT is the purpose of these new regulations - on paper that is. We all know the real purpose.