The Federal Government Moving to Attack Independent Farmers Yet Again

The federal government has a strong hatred of independent farmers. Their hatred is likely caused by the fact that independent farmers can’t contribute millions of dollars to the campaign funds of politicians like big agriculture businesses can. Either way the cause of their hatred isn’t really the point, the fact that the federal government continues to make life harder for family farmers is the problem. So what is the government’s new plan to make life more miserable to families already finding it difficult to get by? Easy, create a new regulation and require all farmers obtain commercial driver’s licenses in order to operate farm equipment:

A new rule being proposed by the federal Department of Transportation would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a part of DOT, wants to adopt standards that would reclassify all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles, officials said. Likewise, the proposal, if adopted, would require all farmers and everyone on the farm who operates any of the equipment to obtain a CDL, they added.

The proposed rule change would mean that anyone who drives a tractor or operates any piece of motorized farming equipment would be required to pass the same tests and complete the same detailed forms and logs required of semi-tractor trailer drivers.

Drivers would keep logs of information including hours worked and miles traveled. Vehicles would be required to display DOT numbers.

No only would this regulation incur additional costs to farmers it would also require them to take the commercial driver’s license test. Regulations such as this hit home for me as I grew up in a small farming community, Hell my grandfather was a farmer. Independent farmers aren’t exactly rolling in cash so any additional cost it going to hurt. On top of that farming isn’t a job you can just drop for a few hours while you go take your commercial driver’s license test, it’s an all day job that you must work every day.

But the real cost comes with regulating farm equipment like other commercial vehicles which require periodic inspections to receive a Department of Transportation (DOT) number. Each vehicle with a DOT number (which would be all farm vehicles under the new regulations) would need to be brought to the local DOT inspector which takes time (quite a bit of time if you’re driving a farm tractor from the country into town) that farmers simply don’t have.

Let’s also consider the fact that farmers have been operating their equipment since the creation of said equipment without any regulations put into place. Has their been a plague of deaths caused by farm equipment that could have been prevented had regulations been put into place? No. So the question that should be asked is what point is there in requiring these new regulations now? I’m not sure what their official line of bullshit will be but the real reason probably has to do with the millions of dollars received by government agents from large agriculture businesses that would love nothing more than seeing independent farmers wiped from the country.