In a controversial move, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed a widely supported bill that would give farmers $40 million in aid after a massive two foot/12 hour rainfall in October.
The Department of Agriculture, through the Secretary of Agriculture, has authority to issue “marketing orders” that require growers of food goods to give up percentages of their crop to the government for free. In this case, specifically, it was raisins.
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects individuals constitutional right to personal property and prevents the government from taking people’s property without compensating them fairly.
In 2002-2003, raisin growers were required to turn over 47% of their crop to the government without any compensation, and in 2003-2004, raising growers were likewise required to turn over 30% of their annual growth yield. Marvin and Laura Horne refused, bringing this suit all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court held that the government, specifically the Department of Agriculture, must fairly compensate raising growers that are affected by the “market orders.”
90 percent of the country’s food demand can be supplied from farmland within a 50 mile radius. One hundred percent of the country’s food demand can be met within a 200 mile radius.
Full evolutionary circle when we return to a resource based economy and crop rotation soon ….
California passed AB 1871, which does two major things, among other provisions. First, it restricts and criminalizes fraud at farmers’ markets in the state. Second, it increases the daily stall fee from $0.50 to $2.
The bill first criminalizes any statement (oral, printed, or otherwise) that is misleading regarding the products area of production, producer identity and method of production. Violation of such law is a misdemeanor, meaning 6 months (maximum) or a fine of $500-$5,000.
The rise in vendor fee is expected to raise $1.4 million annually and will be deposited into the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund. This fund will be used to promote transparency. Vendor fees will be used to evaluate county enforcement procedures, conduct hearings for violating these laws, maintaining a list of farmers’ market locations, maintaining lists of certified producers, and maintaining lists of producers whose certification was revoked.
This law also regulates the use and meaning of the term “California-grown,” directs the administrative agency to pass rules that regulate and promote wholesomeness of agricultural products, and regulates what constitutes a “certified” farmers’ market.
For further information on what this bill means for California, see this article.