Farm Regulations, Regulations, Ugh! And More Farm Regulations!

Nor' east Thinkin'

Farm regulations are enough to drive some farmers out of business, and they keep coming. But do you know what they cost you?

Published on: March 12, 2012

 Some regulation seems to be a necessary evil to keep evil-doers in line. But I don’t run into too many evil-doers in agricultural circles – just hard-working folks striving to make a decent living from the land.

My hunch is that there’s more evil-doing potential in the more lucrative political and financial circles – dominated by lawyers. But those folks always seem to discover loopholes for escaping. Unfortunately, our governments tend believe we all think and act with the same intentions.

That, in turn, has spawned a new race of social activists, who also happen to most commonly be lawyers. So the saying may be true: It takes one to know one. The problem is these people create problems for the rest of us in the form of farm regulations (laws) on top of regulations. In turn, you’ve got to have more lawyers to enforce more farm regulations, and that means more government which means more taxpayer dollars going to government. A vicious circle, isn’t it.

 Back to my reason for writing this

 With your help, I’d like to develop a list of the kind of regulatory hoops you have to jump through to farm, plus the time that it takes you to comply with those regulations. Relax, you won’t be identified.

To get you thinking, there are local farm regulations, state regulations, farmland preservation regulations, licensing regulations, conservation/environmental compliance regulations, milk quality regulations, and etc., all of which take time and money to maneuver through.

So bring ‘em on! If you prefer, you can email them to me at

For larger farm operations, I’m guessing that regulation paperwork requires at least a half-time person. My point is that farm regulations are a stealth cost that most farmers don’t even calculate into the cost of farming – until maybe they’re forced out.

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