Mark Caserta: Agenda 21 pushes more farm regulation

21 Apr

Another “prophetic” column I wrote in 2011 before Agenda 21 was even on the radar:

farmland

Aug. 10, 2011 @ 10:20 PM

West Virginia is blessed to have a number of family-owned and operated farms.

According to the most recent Census of Agriculture by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, West Virginia is home to over 23,000 farms, with about 50 percent of the state’s farmers considering farming their primary occupation.

It’s easy to take the value farmers offer our economy for granted. The closest many of us get to a farm is the occasional roadside stand or “farmer’s market.”

“Agenda 21” is a two-decade-old United Nation’s plan drawn up at the U.N. “Earth Summit” in Rio in 1992 supporting global “Sustainable Development.”

On June 9, President Obama signed an executive order to ensure the acceleration of rural America in the participation of the Agenda 21 goals.

The order, which established a White House Rural Council consisting of 25 branch departments, is designed to “enhance federal engagement with rural communities.” It covers 16 percent of the American population who live in rural counties and supply our food, fiber and energy and safeguard our natural resources.

To fully appreciate the potential impact of this regulation, one must understand the UN’s longtime stance on the issue of individuals owning land.

The Preamble of the UN’s land policy states:

“Land … cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.”

Where is the connection?

One of the executive branch departments of this newly created White House Rural Council is the Department of Transportation.

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the DOT, proposed a rule change for farm equipment that would reclassify all farm vehicles as commercial motor vehicles and require all farmers and equipment drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license to operate any farming equipment.

This proposal, if enacted, would place significant regulatory pressure on small and family farms across America, narrowing margins and potentially forcing many out of business. It could override the rights of the states and claim regulatory control over an estimated 800,000 farm workers.

Americans should be watchful and vigilant.

Any provision which provides the government this much control over food and real estate under the guise of “sustainability” is unsettling.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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