With Pennsylvania being a key swing state for the 2012 U.S. presidential election, it was fitting that key elements of Mitt Romney's agricultural policy platform were revealed there last week. Chuck Conner, chairman of the national Farmers and Ranchers for Romney Coalition, announced them out to supporters during Penn State's Ag Progress Days.
Conner, a former USDA Deputy Secretary, said that in previous administrations, "child labor restrictions on farm youth wouldn't even have passed the 'laugh test'. Yet, the Obama administration was intent on putting far more stringent regulations in place."
That's just one of many examples of overregulating mentality of the present administration. And Conner said that if Romney is elected president, "He will roll back most of the regulations put in place against agriculture by the Obama Administration. I believe he'll roll back many executive orders on day one."
Core campaign issues
Overregulation by the current administration is a core campaign issue. The increasingly complex federal permitting system is driving medium and small-sized businesses out of business with the rising costs. "For instance," says Conner, "it whacks the small farmer – the ones who can least afford them – with more and more financial and environmental requirements. We need to free up American agriculture to produce."