Farm Credit
Dec 01 2016

The New ED

by Caren Cowan, Executive Director,
New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association
Read this article & more in New Mexico Stockman Magazine

There was a new national disease diagnosed in early November 2016. Fox News labeled it election depression (ED). This acronym is used for other things, so always be sure which malady or job you are referring to.

Fox seemed to think this was a new discovery. Sadly they are wrong. I, and I am sure many others, have suffered off and on with election depression since 1992. In 1997 I was driven to wear a black arm band on Inauguration Day during the American Sheep Industry Convention.

I was granted relief in 2000 and 2004, but election depression came back with a vengeance in 2008 and lasted a hard eight years. However I have discovered that the disease is made worse by additional actions of our state and federal government.

We fall back from Daylight Savings Time on the Saturday before the election. That time change always throws my body clock into a tail-spin. I think it tends to exacerbate the depression that can come.

I am not suffering as much from election depression this year. On the federal level I am quite healthy. At the state level, it is sad to lose friends on both sides of the isle in both the House and the Senate. We thank these men and women for their service. However, now there is a great opportunity to make new friends and we all shall carry on. 

As for at least a small portion of the rest of the nation… they just need to get over themselves. Life has consequences and there are no participation pretty ribbons or trophies in elections.

I was thoroughly aggravated when the television news felt the need to teach people how to handle relatives at Thanksgiving. The report allowed as to how you were allowed to leave dinner if you just couldn’t take it, but you had to state clearly why you were leaving. As if everybody didn’t already know.

I heard of one family that withheld the invitation to the annual dinner, sending the non-conformists off to Cracker Barrel for their turkey, or crow, as the case may be.

It would be especially nice to have our educational institutions focus on learning… including history and how actions have consequences instead of meddling in politics and family values. Schools across the country, including Albuquerque Public Schools, felt the need to send information home on how to deal with children in the wake of the election. Others sent special messages to their faculty, employees and students about caring. Students, including high school students, marched against the President-Elect. Totally disgraceful. Get back in the classroom and get back to learning about the history of our nation. If we don’t know our past, we won’t find our future.

The Huffington Post felt compelled to publish this article right after the election: What You’ll Tell Your Kids About The Election Results. You will remind them that if they are hurting you will be there for them. You will tell them she didn’t win. That there will not be a woman in the White House. Not yet. You will tell them you are sad.

You will say, yes, I voted for her. I was proud and confident in her abilities. I cheered, and sometimes wept, at her speeches and videos on the Internet because it was everything to see a woman rise up. I made calls and knocked on doors because I knew she was the best person for this job…

You will tell them that you won’t stop fighting for equality. You will call on them to join you in that fight however they can. By treating kids at school who are different with respect. By speaking up when they see someone being mistreated. By standing up for themselves if they are the victims.

You will remind them that if they are hurting you will be there for them.

And, you will laugh with your children. You will play and give them hugs. You will be normal and everyday because really, you are their world. They do not know how much this means. Remember, you are the one who is hurting right now. Because no, there will not be a woman in the White House in 2017.

So, you will tell them that we will survive the next four years, as we have survived previous difficult four-year stretches of time. You will tell them that it is possible, more than possible, to move on from disappointment…

From Another Front

Animal Advocacy in the Age of Trump: John Connor Cleveland, policy adviser at the Humane Society of the United States, wrote in the National Review:

“If he’s serious about reforming Washington, one of his first targets should be Big Agriculture. President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to “drain the swamp” could find unlikely support among animal-welfare activists. If he’s really serious about reforming Washington, one of his first bottom-feeding targets should be Big Ag, which has a powerful presence on Capitol Hill and a well-documented dark side.”

But The Worm Turns

Some animal rightists are now not so down on eating beef and pork. Not because our animals are well cared for, not because the protein and other nutrients they provide are essential to human health and wellbeing, they have a totally different reason.

If you eat beef or pork, you probably won’t eat a whole animal a year. If you eat chicken or fish, you are killing many animals per year. Go figure.

Can’t Omit the Chickens…

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California has thrown out the lawsuit filed by Missouri and other states against California’s law requiring all eggs sold there to come from hens kept in enlarged cages, according to brownfieldagnews.com.

The office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says they are reviewing the ruling and declined to be interviewed by Brownfield. Koster was supported in the lawsuit by attorneys general in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama and Kentucky, and, by Iowa’s governor. The case was thrown out by a lower court but the plaintiffs appealed.

They argued that no state has the constitutional right to dictate production practices in other states.

The appeals court ruling upheld the lower court ruling saying Koster and the others had no standing in the case.

Koster was the first Democrat endorsed by the Missouri Farm Bureau for governor – in large part because of his stance on this issue – but lost the race in the recent election.

Meanwhile, animal rightist are now attacking cage-free chicken operations because of their filth. Be careful what you ask for… or was this they plan all along to get rid of chicken and egg production all together?

Not So Fast on the Overtime Rule, Says Judge

From the National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal

In late November, a U.S. District judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Department of Labor’s new overtime pay rule, scheduled to take effect on December 1. Agricultural field workers were exempted from the rule.

The rule doubles the threshold under which salaried employees are required to receive overtime pay. The NCPA published two reports on the negative effects of this rule and potential job losses as a result.

According to Judge Amos Mazzant, the Department of Labor overstepped its authority by “raising the minimum salary level such that is supplants the duties test.”

Part of Congress’ original intent of overtime rules was to exempt workers in executive, administrative and professional positions. In the DOL’s Final Rule, according to Judge Mazzant, the duties test was virtually ignored as “ambiguous.” 

But he noted that one only needs to check the dictionary in order to determine the meanings of words, thus, there was no ambiguity in defining the duties test.

The “preliminary injunction” also applies to all employers nationwide who would be affected, not just those located in the 5th Circuit.

It will be interesting to see what happens with yet another controversial and overreaching Obama administration order. The overtime rule, or at least this version of it, will likely be tossed aside under the Trump administration.

Mr. Albuquerque Journal, Do Thousands of New Mexican’s Not Count?

A recent editorial in the Journal made the assertion that it is only U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop was the ONLY person that is seeking to overturn monument designations by the current administration, while admitting “that one person acting unilaterally should not be able to set aside hundreds of thousands of acres under the guise of conservation without adequate debate or discussion about what makes that acreage so very valuable in its pristine form.“

We are here to report that Congressman Bishop is not alone in his call for monument reversal action. With the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument there were thousands if not tens of thousands of New Mexicans objecting to its creation. There are numerous ranching families whose livelihoods are now in jeopardy because of that sweep of a pen.

The Journal goes on to say, “It’s questionable if Trump would be able to do that – an official with the National Parks Conservation Association points out “there is no precedent” for a president taking back a national monument, and a former chief attorney for the Department of Interior says a U.S. Attorney General opinion from the 1930s examined the issue “and concluded that a president cannot undo a monument.

“That leaves the question relatively open. There is no question that Congress can “undo” a monument, and it has – 11 times.

“There’s also no question government gridlock helped create the current situation. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said back in 2013 she would recommend Obama act alone if necessary to create new national monuments because the paralysis on Capitol Hill had created a yearslong conservation backlog. She emphasized “that there are places that are ripe for setting aside, with a tremendous groundswell of public support.”

“That’s likely always true, yet the tax-paying public deserves national monuments that do more than win popularity contests with their vocal supporters – which at times don’t include a majority of the “locals.” At the same time, the public deserves more than a no-monument mindset that ignores personal private land gifts as well as the vital role land conservation plays in local economies. The public deserves science, fiscal analysis, standards for designation, and thorough and open vetting of proposals.

“None of which come from one person designating or declassifying a monument.

“Pearce points out “the Antiquities Act requires that a president designate the smallest possible footprint in order to achieve the desired environmental preservation” and emphasizes “these decisions must be made in Congress.”

“Those are important starting points for any legislation that affects land that will belong to all Americans. Yet they hinge on a Congress that does in fact act, that actually airs all pertinent facts, debates proposals and then votes on them.

“And that should include designating as well as declassifying national monuments.”

The editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.      

Source: New Mexico Stockman, November 2016