Monday, October 30, 2006

Ag on the ballot...

We won't just be selecting the lesser of two evils for a representative or (in the case of IL) governor, many of us will be voting on initiatives that will impact agriculture come next Tuesday.
Proposition 204 asks voters to consider whether it is acceptable to use a 2- by 7-foot stall to house a 400-pound pregnant pig that is, eventually, headed for slaughter. And to decide whether that practice should be banned in Arizona, as it has been in Florida, Britain and the rest of the European Union in recent years.

Beyond that, it asks consumers to look within an industry that both sides of the campaign say has changed so dramatically in recent decades it is almost unrecognizable from the nostalgic image of the family farm. [More]
Ah - the old "family farm". We'll be hearing more about that utopian paradigm soon, I think.

There are also some flamboyantly opportunistic property rights ballot measures.
There is a law on the ballot in four states that says if I want to open a hog farm or a chemical plant next door to your house and you don't want me to do that, then YOU have to PAY ME not to -- you have to pay me ALL THE MONEY I MIGHT HAVE MADE. [More]
The interesting point of this account is how the hog farm is the epitome of bad news - the worst thing that could happen. If "hog farm" has been elevated (or lowered) to the same status as "chemical plant" the future for modern hog production could be rocky. At the very least, some changes will be made in methodology, I bet.

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