The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Roberts: Top 10 reasons farmers should fear Obama re-election

TAMPA — Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., always has comedic tendencies, but they come out in the extremes when he has a friendly Republican audience.

Today in a speech to the Great American Farm Lunch here, Roberts could not resist providing his fellow Republicans with an exaggerated list of 10 policy changes that will occur if President Obama is re-elected. As on late night television, Roberts read the list in reverse order, and he later provided The Hagstrom Report with a copy.

Here are Roberts’s 10 worst fears of things Obama would do if re-elected:

No. 10: Expand EPA’s permitting process for applying approved pesticides to now require applicants to supply 10 years of tax returns.

No. 9: Resurrect EPA’s plans to regulate spilled milk. (In a reference to Obama’s poorly received State of the Union joke, Roberts added, “They’re calling this initiative the ‘We’re going you a reason to cry over spilled milk.’ ”

No. 8: Double down on the Department of Labor’s failed child farm labor rules by requiring rural families keep their kids indoors and protected from the hazards of tractors, ladders and flashlights.

No. 7: Combat childhood obesity by declaring sugar a “controlled substance” to be regulated by the DEA.

No. 6: Declare war on rural fugitive dust. All grain truck and pickups travelling on gravel roads must have rear end sprayers ready for inspection.

No. 5: Schools will observe meatless Mondays, followed by organic Tuesday, vegan Wednesday, non-dairy Thursday and French fry-free Friday. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, asparagus are in, and Belgian endives are back.

No. 4: Increase the desire to live longer by increasing the death tax.

No. 3: Redefine farm ponds, horse tanks and backyard swimming pools as navigable waters.

No. 2: Purchase an entire fleet of drones for the EPA to conduct surveillance of all livestock operations, known as Ms. (EPA Administrator Lisa) Jackson’s Squadron. To House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., he added, “If you’re working your cattle, keep the brim of your hat down.”

And, said Roberts, the worst thing of all to fear from a second Obama term is that the president would:

No. 1: Under the banner of “Know your farmer, know your food,” require all producers to wear name tags at all times.

Roberts seemed fully aware that the Obama administration has already said it will not change the child labor law or regulate farm dust. He said that some of his list was “stretching credibility, but not much.”

He also appeared to understand there might be some limit to its importance. Republicans, he said, “will take the regulatory reform effort to the small towns and county seats. People will say this was their finest hour. “

But he was serious when he urged the lobbyists and farmers at the lunch to work hard for the Romney-Ryan ticket and for the election of a Republican majority in the Senate so that he could again become chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“I have been ranking member twice,” said Roberts, who served as chairman from 1995 to 1997. “I would like to have the gavel back.”