Farmer urges Congress to address Prop 12 in farm bill

House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn GT Thompson heard farm bill priorities from farmers in La Crosse, Wisconsin Wednesday. 

Familiar issues like protecting crop insurance, expanding base acres, trade, and labor were brought up, but pork producer AV Roth asked the chairman if the farm bill can address the state-by-state patchwork of regulations for raising hogs that began with California’s Proposition 12. “We have to be this way to sell in this state, and Massachusets is coming out with it, and Arizona. We can start listing the states that we’ll be coming across this. What are we going to do so that all farmers will be able to sell their products here in the U.S. that are produced in the U.S.?”

Chairman Thompson says this should be addressed in the farm bill. “If a farm wants to cater to California and do certain things, I think that’s great, but make it based on market, and it shouldn’t be based on a state law saying that you have to do something. It should be market-driven. Constitutionally, the Commerce Clause is federal. The founders put that there because they didn’t want trade wars, so we do need to address this within the farm bill.”

Thompson says he agrees with Supreme Court justices who say Congress needs to do its job and update the commerce clause issues that led to Proposition 12 being upheld by the court.

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