Westward Independent

The Seemingly Global War On Farmers Continues – Oregon’s Ominous Precedent

by Westward Independent
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In recent years, stories of small farmers facing regulatory crackdowns have become distressingly common.
From stringent environmental regulations to invasive government oversight, the challenges seem insurmountable. The state of Oregon once celebrated for its agricultural richness, now finds itself at the center of a controversy emblematic of a broader assault on farming livelihoods.

Oregon’s farmers, particularly small-scale operators, are facing unprecedented threats to their survival. The state government has embarked on a crusade under the guise of water conservation and groundwater protection. Using satellite technology, authorities identify farms and send cease-and-desist letters, effectively halting operations.

At the heart of this onslaught are two laws: the redefinition of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and stringent water usage regulations. The redefinition broadens CAFOs to encompass any facility with concrete or gravel flooring, impacting not just dairy farmers but also chicken and goat keepers. This overreach is exemplified by the case of Sarah King, whose modest milking stand led to an exorbitant $100,000 infrastructure demand.
Similarly alarming is Oregon’s regulation of water usage. While rainwater remains exempt from permits, all groundwater is deemed a public resource. Small farmers, like Christina Del Campo with her half-acre market garden, are caught in a bureaucratic nightmare. Despite minimal water consumption, they face shutdowns for lack of permits, hindering their ability to grow and sell produce.

Oregon’s actions reflect a broader trend of government overreach, masquerading as environmental stewardship. By weaponizing regulations, officials stifle independent farming operations, jeopardizing food sovereignty and economic independence. This assault on small farmers extends beyond Oregon’s borders, echoing in other states grappling with similar issues.

The ramifications are dire. Farmers, the backbone of our food system, face extinction as oppressive regulations suffocate their livelihoods. The loss of over 200,000 farms since 2000 underscores the urgency of the situation. With each shutdown, communities lose access to fresh, locally grown produce, exacerbating food insecurity and reliance on industrial agriculture.

Behind the veneer of conservation lies a systemic attack on farmers’ rights and freedoms. Oregon’s policies set a dangerous precedent, emboldening other states to enact similarly draconian measures. The implications are profound, threatening the very fabric of our agricultural landscape.

In the face of this assault, advocacy and resistance are paramount. Farmers and their allies must unite to challenge oppressive regulations, safeguarding their livelihoods and the future of sustainable agriculture. It’s a battle for more than just farms; it’s a fight for food sovereignty, environmental stewardship, and the preservation of our agricultural heritage.

As Oregon’s farmers wage this uphill battle, the world watches, recognizing the significance of their struggle in the broader context of the global war on farmers. The outcome will reverberate far beyond the fields of Oregon, shaping the future of farming for generations to come.

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