Posts Tagged government

Animal ID Rule Filed with OMB for Final Review

Downsize Government

Memo ~~ USDA knows 18% of the beef consumed in the USA was imported
in 2011 because the nation does not produce enough product to feed
it’s people, yet more costly rulemaking is assessed upon producers
by bureaucrats. This document is vague and impossible to determine
the teeth, however, be assured, the devil is in the details. Once
Hammerschmidt gets this approved and mandatory he will personally
add the teath. There will be no more listening sessions or public
comments — the federales will have their way, regardless of the
majoritie’s oppositon.

Yesterday, USDA submitted it Animal Disease Traceability Rule to the
White House Office of Management and Budget for final review. See
This is one obstinate agency.


AGENCY: USDA-APHIS RIN: 0579-AD24TITLE: Animal Disease Traceability
RIN Data
USDA/APHIS RIN: 0579-AD24 Publication ID: Fall 2011
Title: Animal Disease Traceability

Abstract: This rulemaking would establish a new part 
in the Code of Federal Regulations containing minimum 
national identification and documentation requirements 
for livestock moving interstate. The proposed regulations 
specify approved forms of official identification for each
species covered under this rulemaking but would allow such 
livestock to be moved interstate with another form of 
identification, as agreed upon by animal health officials 
in the shipping and receiving States or tribes. The purpose 
of the new regulations is to improve our ability to
trace livestock in the event that disease is found.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA) 
Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage
of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
CFR Citation: 9 CFR 90
Legal Authority: 7 USC 8305
Legal Deadline: None

Statement of Need: Preventing and controlling animal disease is the
cornerstone of protecting American animal agriculture. While ranchers
and farmers work hard to protect their animals and their livelihoods,
there is never a guarantee that their animals will be spared from
disease. To support their efforts, USDA has enacted regulations to
prevent, control, and eradicate disease, and to increase foreign and
domestic confidence in the safety of animals and animal products.
Traceability helps give that reassurance. Traceability does not prevent
disease, but knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they
have been, and when, is indispensable in emergency response and in
ongoing disease programs. The primary objective of these proposed
regulations is to improve our ability to trace livestock in the event
that disease is found in a manner that continues to ensure the smooth
flow of livestock in interstate commerce.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7
U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or
restrict the interstate movement of any animal to prevent the
introduction or dissemination of any pest or disease of livestock, and
may carry out operations and measures to detect, control, or eradicate
any pest or disease of livestock. The Secretary may promulgate such
regulations as may be necessary to carry out the Act.

Alternatives: As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard animal
health, APHIS initiated implementation of the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS) in 2004. More recently, the Agency launched
an effort to assess the level of acceptance of NAIS through meetings
with the Secretary, listening sessions in 14 cities, and public
comments. Although there was some support for NAIS, the vast majority of
participants were highly critical of the program and of USDA's
implementation efforts. The feedback revealed that NAIS has become a
barrier to achieving meaningful animal disease traceability in the
United States in partnership with America's producers. The option we are
proposing pertains strictly to interstate movement and gives States and
tribes the flexibility to identify and implement the traceability
approaches that work best for them.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: A workable and effective animal
traceability system would enhance animal health programs, leading to
more secure market access and other societal gains. Traceability can
reduce the cost of disease outbreaks, minimizing losses to producers and
industries by enabling current and previous locations of potentially
exposed animals to be readily identified. Trade benefits can include
increased competitiveness in global markets generally, and when
outbreaks do occur, the mitigation of export market losses through
regionalization. Markets benefit through more efficient and timely
epidemiological investigation of animal health issues. Other societal
benefits include improved animal welfare during natural disasters. The
main economic effect of the rule is expected to be on the beef and
cattle industry. For other species such as horses and other equine
species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids, APHIS
would largely maintain and build on the identification requirements of
existing disease program regulations. Costs of an animal traceability
system would include those for tags and interstate certificates of
veterinary inspection (ICVIs) or other movement documentation, for
animals moved interstate. Incremental costs incurred are expected to
vary depending upon a number of factors, including whether an enterprise
does or does not already use eartags to identify individual cattle. For
many operators, costs of official animal identification and ICVIs would
be similar, respectively, to costs associated with current animal
identification practices and the in-shipment documentation currently
required by individual States. To the extent that official animal
identification and ICVIs would simply replace current requirements, the
incremental costs of the rule for private enterprises would be minimal.

Risks: This rulemaking is being undertaken to address the animal health
risks posed by gaps in the existing regulations concerning
identification of livestock being moved interstate. The current lack of
a comprehensive animal traceability program is impairing our ability to
trace animals that may be infected with disease.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM 08/11/2011 76 FR 50082
NPRM Comment Period End 11/09/2011
Final Rule 08/00/2012

Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its
programs is available on the Internet at
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No Government Levels

Affected: State, Tribal
Small Entities Affected: Businesses Federalism: No
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No

Agency Contact: Neil Hammerschmidt
Program Manager, Animal Disease Traceability, VS

Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 46,
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231
Phone:301 734-5571


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Georgia Man Fined $5000 for Growing Vegetables

Georgia Man Fined $5000 for Growing Vegetables

The Intel Hub
By TheAvalonRoundTable

A Georgia resident who has been an organic farmer for years is now facing $5000 dollars in fines for growing too many vegetables on his OWN land. That’s right.

Steve Miller, who has sold some of his produce at local farmers markets, as well as growing food for himself, is likely the victim of an Online Aerial Invasion of Private Property. This invasion of property is probably due to the fact that unless visited or inspected by an official, there would be no way for there to be an accurate or factual accounting of what was going on at Mr. Millers property. The question is, “Does Steve Miller legally posses a reasonable expectation of Privacy on his own Private Property?

Recent reports of Local & State Officials and Bureaucrats using online mapping software have now become mainstream tools for assessing fines and generating money for cash strapped local & state budgets. Does it seem right that anywhere that Google Maps & Bing Maps can go is legal to use as a source of information. If a person was bathing in their pool, with every expectation of privacy, and someone peeked over a fence, wouldn’t that constitute a criminal offense?

Is the expectation of privacy something the government wants to destroy altogether?

Is government today at a point where the end justifies the means? In January and February, when he received his first citations, Steve was able to get the property re-zoned allowing him to grow his garden – a right MOST AMERICANS believe he already had. The Declaration of Independence states one’s inalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Isn’t growing your own personal food supply an exercise of that right to Life and Liberty? No Constitutional Government can assess any fee for exercising these inalienable rights.

In the recent past, Victory Gardens were encouraged. They were the pride of one’s back yard, and of a Nation that was self-sufficient. The television series The Victory Garden on PBS, documents gardening and provides gardening tips and features vegetable gardens as a great personal achievement.

Historically,Victory Gardens in World War II were encouraged to keep the supply of food at a maximum – and personal growing increased the industrial supply to the military.

Are people going to let this FASCIST TAKEOVER to continue – even growing a garden in the privacy of our own personal property be taken away? If the answer is NO – then what are you prepared to do about it?

You can watch the video aired on WSBTV in Georgia – County Sues Farmer for Excessive Crops

Let them know how you feel about this.

The question remain unanswered; “How did the code enforcement agency know Mr. Miller had a garden in the first place?”

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Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Amish Plowing

Matthew Stoltzfus, left, on his farm in Lancaster, Pa., where a government program is working with Amish farmers to try to instill more environmentally sound methods for handling runoff.

Published: June 8, 2010

LANCASTER, Pa. — With simplicity as their credo, Amish farmers consume so little that some might consider them model environmental citizens.

“We are supposed to be stewards of the land,” said Matthew Stoltzfus, a 34-year-old dairy farmer and father of seven whose family, like many other Amish, shuns cars in favor of horse and buggy and lives without electricity. “It is our Christian duty.”

But farmers like Mr. Stoltzfus are facing growing scrutiny for agricultural practices that the federal government sees as environmentally destructive. Their cows generate heaps of manure that easily washes into streams and flows onward into the Chesapeake Bay.

And the Environmental Protection Agency, charged by President Obama with restoring the bay to health, is determined to crack down. The farmers have a choice: change the way they farm or face stiff penalties.

“There’s much, much work that needs to be done, and I don’t think the full community understands,” said David McGuigan, the E.P.A. official leading an effort by the agency to change farming practices here in Lancaster County.

Runoff from manure and synthetic fertilizers has polluted the Chesapeake Bay for years, reducing oxygen rates, killing fish and creating a dead zone that has persisted since the 1970s despite off-and-on cleanup efforts. But of the dozens of counties that contribute to the deadly runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus, Lancaster ranks at the top. According to E.P.A. data from 2007, the most recent available, the county generates more than 61 million pounds of manure a year. That is 20 million pounds more than the next highest county on the list of bay polluters, and more than six times that of most other counties.

The challenge for the environmental agency is to steer the farmers toward new practices without stirring resentment that might cause a backlash. The so-called plain-sect families — Amish and Old Order Mennonites, descended from persecuted Anabaptists who fled Germany and Switzerland in the 1700s — are notoriously wary of outsiders and of the government in particular.

“They are very resistant to government interference, and they object to government subsidies,” said Donald Kraybill, a professor at Elizabethtown College who studies the Amish. “They feel they should take care of their own.”

But the focus on the plain-sect dairy farmers is unavoidable: they own more than 50 percent of Lancaster County’s 5,000-plus farms.

“It’s been an issue over the last 30 years,” Dr. Kraybill said. “We have too many animals here per square acre — too many cows for too few acres.”

For now, the environmental agency’s strategy is to approach each farmer individually in collaboration with state and local conservation officials and suggest improvements like fences to prevent livestock from drifting toward streams, buffers that reduce runoff and pits to keep manure stored safely.

“These are real people with their own histories and their own needs and their own culture,” said John Hanger, the secretary of environmental protection in Pennsylvania. “It’s about treating people right, and in order to treat people right, you’ve got to be able to start where they are at.”

But if that does not work, the government will have to resort to fines and penalties.

Last September, Mr. McGuigan and his colleagues visited 24 farms in a pocket of Lancaster County known as Watson’s Run to assess their practices. Twenty-three of the farms were plain sect; 17 were found to be managing their manure inadequately. The abundance of manure was also affecting water quality. Six of the 19 wells sampled contained E. coli bacteria, and 16 had nitrate levels exceeding those allowed by the E.P.A.

Persuading plain-sect farmers to install fences and buffers underwritten by federal grants has been challenging because of their tendency to shy from government programs, including subsidies. Members neither pay Social Security nor receive its benefits, for example.

Word of the E.P.A.’s farm visits last September traveled rapidly through Amish country, Mr. Stoltzfus said, even though most plain-sect farmers do not have their own phones.

The farmers whom the agency visited declined to be interviewed. But Mr. Stoltzfus, whose brother-in-law was among them, said that as the news circulated, some farmers decided on their own to make changes in anticipation of intervention by the agency.

“I had never heard of the E.P.A. coming out to do inspections,” he said. “I think these practices are going to be required more.”

With help from the Lancaster County Conservation District, Mr. Stoltzfus applied for a government grant to help finance construction of a heifer barn with a manure pit. He expects the grant to cover about 70 percent of the cost.

But some Amish farmers were angered by the agency’s intrusion and its requirements.

“It’s certainly generated controversy,” said Sam Riehl, a farmer in the area. “We wonder whether we are being told what to do, and whether the E.P.A. will make it so that we can’t even maintain our farms.”

Mr. Riehl said he had vowed never to accept a government grant. He does have a manure management plan and a manure pit, he said, although several of his neighbors do not.

Last year the federal Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $500,000 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to work with the farmers on switching to barnyard runoff controls, streamside forest buffers, no-till farming and cover crops. The money has been lucrative for local agricultural companies like Red Barn Consulting, which has used some of it to hold milk-and-doughnut sessions in barns for Amish farmers and drop off fliers door to door.

The firm’s owner, Peter Hughes, and his employees instruct the farmers on manure management and do free walkthroughs to offer suggestions. In the last six months, Mr. Hughes said, his plain-sect clientele has soared from several dozen farmers to about 200.

Working with the plain sect presents challenges, Mr. Hughes said. For one thing, the group is deeply averse to salesmanship. Then there is the technological communication problem: most of the farmers share a phone booth along a road with several neighbors.

“I had one client who would call me at 5:15 every morning,” he said. “That was his allotted time to use the phone, and that was the only way for us to talk.”

Most days Mr. Hughes is on the road in his pickup visiting farmers. As he drives, he said, he is often struck by the dichotomy between a would-be pastoral ideal and the environmental reality.

“You see those cows and the fields, and it’s beautiful,” he said. “But then there’s that big pile of manure sitting back there.”

Mr. Stoltzfus hopes he is ahead of the game. By adopting new practices and building the manure pit, he thinks he can both help the environment and steer clear of E.P.A. interference.

At midday, Mr. Stoltzfus was placing a bowl of cut fruit into a propane-powered cooler in his backyard, one of the family’s few concessions to technology. Hand-washed black pants and plain cotton dresses fluttered on a clothesline behind him. He offered a taciturn reflection on how quickly things had changed — his willingness to accept the grant, for example.

“A while back, Old Order Amish would not participate in programs like this,” he said, “but farming is getting expensive.”

And then he ended the conversation.

“Is that all?” he said politely but coolly. “I have work to do.”

It was milking time.

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