In Vermont, Farmers Buck Registration Efforts ; A Proposal Would Require Farmers to Disclose Livestock Data, Raising Worries about Big Brother

By Matt Bradley Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, August 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

In Vermont, Farmers Buck Registration Efforts ; A Proposal Would Require Farmers to Disclose Livestock Data, Raising Worries about Big Brother


Matt Bradley Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


If authorities in Vermont have their way, farmers will have to tell them more about their business. Or face a $1,000 fine.

Vermont is the latest state to consider requiring farmers to reveal data on such things as their farms' livestock and size - laws veterinarians say could help manage farm animal diseases like mad cow and foot and mouth in the event of an outbreak.

But in a state where small farms of nursery-rhyme dimension persist even in the face of burgeoning industrial agriculture, the proposal sounds to some like government intrusion on an Orwellian scale: something akin to "Animal Farm" meets "1984." Even though such livestock accounting systems are voluntary - for now - throughout most of the country, the emotional issue has small-time farmers worrying about Big Brother and government intrusion.

"I frankly find this a great imposition on my freedoms," said Sloan Armstrong last Thursday at a public hearing in Brattleboro, organized by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. Ms. Armstrong and her husband have a farm in Glover. She opposes a proposed law on so- called premises registration, which would require farmers to reveal the nature of their farm business, their locations, and type of livestock to state authorities every two years.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture says the law will simplify efforts to quickly trace diseases to their source, thereby avoiding the widespread preventive slaughters left behind by scourges like avian influenza in Asia and foot-and-mouth disease in Britain.

The Vermont proposal is similar to a voluntary federal effort to compile a nationwide database of animal identification tag numbers. But even as calls by US meat consumers grow louder for more stalwart government safety regulations, many small farmers are railing against what they see as collusion between large agribusiness and federal farm authorities to crowd out the little guy.

In Vermont, a state known as much for its progressive politics as for its pastoral provincialism, the number of organic farmers has more than tripled from 90 in 1994 to 332 in 2004, according to the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, based in Montpelier. While the premises-registration program is free, many here see it as a first step toward the kind of labor-intensive bureaucratic regulations that could pose huge challenges for small farms.

At public hearings on premises registration, a common refrain from small farmers is that the program is simply a veiled attempt to cover up the dangers of industrial farming.

"Mad-cow disease is the result of these cows being fed parts of other cows. Cows that eat grass don't get mad-cow disease," says Amy Shollenberger, director of Rural Vermont, a small-farms advocacy group based in Montpelier.

"The whole point of the animal ID system and the premises registration program is to respond to these diseases," she says. "And that's where the corporations win.... They get to make money off running the program, the databases, and making the tags. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In Vermont, Farmers Buck Registration Efforts ; A Proposal Would Require Farmers to Disclose Livestock Data, Raising Worries about Big Brother
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.