Farmville: Third generation farmer MacDonald announced today that he is ceasing operation of his medium sized family farm, which has been in operation since 1927. Increased business overhead costs and regulations were cited for his decision.
Mr. MacDonald said he employs 20 people on his farm. I still do the farming, 10 people interpret the various county, state, and federal regulations, deal with the regulators and do paperwork; four CPA's deal with the IRS; and five lawyers handle the lawsuits!
Mr. MacDonald will be laying-off 19 people and then he specifically enumerated the concerns of other farmers like himself.
- "A moo, moo and an oink, oink here" has caused law suits over his farm animals violating county noise and odor pollution regulations.
- The new FDA/USDA administered Food Safety bill requiring fat and calorie labeling on watermelons is inane.
- The self appointed food police constantly saying "not good enough" to any reasonable proposal concerning food safety inspections!
- My farm is close to a salt water estuary, such that state and federal EPA regulations control my fertilizer use, insecticide use and farm animal poop, not Mother Nature.
- My use of public canal water for irrigation has been restricted because environmentalists say an endangered fish is living there.
Mr. MacDonald added that he usually sells one-half of the fresh vegetables produced on his farm and provides the other one-half of his crop free to food banks, schools and needy people. Food stamps; Wal-Mart's new food policy; and the first lady's multi-million dollar government run healthy food program and White House garden will have to suffice as many medium sized farms now grow houses.
Mr. MacDonald briefly considered turning the farm into a children's petting zoo with animal rides, until his lawyers informed him about the county and state regulations for such an endeavor. The county is going to buy Mr. Macdonald's farm and use the land for a recycling center, landfill and composting facility. After the sale he is going to apply for a job at the White House tending Michelle's vegetable garden (sans moos and oinks).