One Apple Orchard and 5,000 Government Rules

This past December, the National Review published an article about the trials and tribulations experience by a family run apple orchard in upstate New York.  As with most family farms, most of the real work lands in the fall, when the orchard is consumed with harvesting, as well as product sale and distribution.

Unfortunately, that was when a team of Government Inspectors showed up demanding to see reams of paperwork to ensure that the farm was in compliance with immigration rules, OSHA guidelines, the Fair Labor Standards Act and other laws and regulations. Over the next several days, the family was forced to devote more than 40 hours compiling 22 different kinds of records. The federal rules on ladder safety alone amount to thousands of words.  It was, as they say, terribly disruptive.  In fact, in the early 70’s, the federal register contained 35.4 million words.  By 2016, that had expanded to 104.6 million words.  The King James Bible makes due with a mere 783,000 words.

These verbose and increasingly strict regulations have put many farmers out of business, resulting in the loss of homes, land and livelihoods.

Can this happen here in Idaho where a huge percentage of population is involved in farming, ranching or small business ownership?  The answer is obvious – yes it can.  To learn more, please check

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