Here’s a quick follow-up to our “Did You Hear? U.S. DOT Seeking Public Comment” blog post from back in July. At that time, we noted that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency operating within the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), had issued a request for public comment on proposed regulations for farmers’ use of public roads. Among other things, the DOT was seeking comments on whether or not to require tractor and agriculture equipment drivers to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate machinery on the road.
According to the Associated Press, agriculture organizations and lawmakers from farm states flooded Washington with letters opposed to the idea, which would have limited agricultural commercial drivers’ license (CDL) exemptions, and expanded the definition of “implements of husbandry or off-road farm equipment” to bring more vehicles and implements under jurisdiction of DOT.
In the end, regulators took these comments into consideration when they weighed their decision, and reached what seems to most in agriculture to be a sensible conclusion:
U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said that the FMCSA does not intend to propose any new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products, and that the agency has released guidance to states so they clearly understand exemptions “to allow farmers, their employees and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market.”
Here’s a clear case where the voices of stakeholders were heeded, in this instance leading to a common-sense decision that lets America’s farm families keep doing what they do best.
Our post earlier this week, “Non-Ag Folks Just Don’t Understand” reminded us that the general public has limited and sometimes misguided information about farming.
“Agvocacy” is needed now more than ever, and farmers have the best opportunity to speak with a credible voice on issues that impact their businesses.
As part of its inaugural coverage in 1975, Case IH’s Farm Forum surveyed customers more than 35 years ago. We asked a variety of questions ranging from, “What is the number one thing you like about farming?” to “How would you rate farming as a dangerous occupation?”
One of the most interesting responses was to the question, “What kind of understanding do non-farm people have about the prices farmers get from their products?” Here’s what Case IH customers had to say in 1975: