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Environment Groups Against Cuomo’s Dairy Plans
cnynews.com ^ | January 25, 2013 | Ted Muehl

Posted on 01/26/2013 12:14:26 AM PST by neverdem

Environmental groups are pushing back against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s plan to support a growing yogurt industry by easing regulations on large-scale dairy operations.

The Greek yogurt industry is growing so fast in New York that the state doesn’t have enough cows to meet the demand for milk. At a “yogurt summit” in August, Governor Cuomo called Greek yogurt one of the best entrepreneurial opportunities in a generation.

Farms with up to 200 cows are exempt from rules requiring extra steps to prevent pollution from cow waste. Cuomo proposes raising the limit to 300 cows to help farms expand without high regulatory costs.

The groups, which include RiverKeeper, EarthJustice, Environmental Advocates and Citizens Campaign for the Environment, contend the proposed deregulation is a violation of the federal Clean Water Act and would undermine the DEC’s ability to meet runoff limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Chesapeake Bay.

The Farm Bureau estimates that potentially 800 farms across the state would be in a position to add 100 cows if the new rules are approved, but not all would have the desire or resources to do that.

Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than more traditional yogurt and requires more milk in its production. The rapid growth of the Greek yogurt industry in New York has revitalized the dairy business in the state. The nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 Greek yogurt brands, Chobani and FAGE, are both expanding plants in central New York, and the total number of yogurt plants in the state is now 29, up from 14 in the year 2000.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: New York
KEYWORDS: cuomo; dairy; environazis; yogurt

1 posted on 01/26/2013 12:14:39 AM PST by neverdem
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To: cyborg; Clemenza; Cacique; NYCVirago; The Mayor; Darksheare; hellinahandcart; Chode; ...
The Dot Matrix, Reloaded - How do you ban assault weapons when you can print them?

STUDENTS WARD OFF HOME INTRUDERS WITH AR-15 Rochester, NY

FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list.

2 posted on 01/26/2013 12:32:25 AM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: cyborg; Clemenza; Cacique; NYCVirago; The Mayor; Darksheare; hellinahandcart; Chode; ...
The Dot Matrix, Reloaded - How do you ban assault weapons when you can print them?

STUDENTS WARD OFF HOME INTRUDERS WITH AR-15 Rochester, NY

FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list.

3 posted on 01/26/2013 12:33:24 AM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Even by New York standards, 300 cows, while above average, is not a “large” dairy farm. But as usual the environazis have no real rationale for this decision. How is the runoff any different for a farm of 400 split into two herds of 200 cows each (by, say, inheritance) with access to the same watershed? Yet one is required to obey nitrogen restrictions while the other two are exempt.


4 posted on 01/26/2013 12:54:34 AM PST by FredZarguna ("The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." -- Henry the Sixth Part II, 4.2.71-78)
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To: neverdem

Cuomo, what are you doing helping business? Aren’t you worried they are going to throw you out of the Club for Anti-growth?

Oh, there is an ulterior motive. OK, I understand.


5 posted on 01/26/2013 2:59:43 AM PST by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: FredZarguna
The overarching point has nothing to do with arithmetic ~ it has to do with the fact Cuomo thinks he has the authority to authorize farmers to take unlawful actions for which they can be held accountable later on in court after having been sued down to their knickers by professional environmentalists.

New York long ago lost authority over its own cows when their politicians gave it all up to the EPA. Cuomo can't get it back with executive action alone. He will have to start dictating to Chucky Schumer and the others first to get the laws changed.

This is where Conservatism leaps in to protect the status quo, no matter how evil it might be, unless the Democrats and their running dog lackeys GIVE UP SOMETHING WE WANT!

We need a new Speaker an House committee chairment who KNOW THIS VISCERALLY. They should be eternally on watch for these opportunities. If Cuomo wants to pump cow poop into the river, we need something for us to go along with that at the national level.

6 posted on 01/26/2013 3:19:59 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: FredZarguna; neverdem

“environazi’s have no real rationale ...”

So true - my oldest daughter, 25, just married last June (expecting first baby this June) and her new husband live in the hilly farmland in Otsego County roughly 7 miles east of Cooperstown. They are starting a small diary operation, so this topic hits home for me.

Instead of the environazi’s giving a knee jerk no to this - why doesn’t the state actually solve the problem by hiring some envirnmental engeneers with expertise in water tables so we can properly manage any run off? Let’s solve the problem - not overly regulate farms!! I think my daughter nad son in law might be in the Sesquahanna watershed, not sure, but I do know they are in a hollow FAR from any direct nitrate run off to impact any watershed directly. They only have 40 cows so far ....

I am for clean water as much as anyone else - but lets solve the problem intelligently!! (liberals lack logic)


7 posted on 01/26/2013 6:00:49 AM PST by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: stonehouse01

sorry -environmental engineers - was typing too fast


8 posted on 01/26/2013 6:01:48 AM PST by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: neverdem; FredZarguna; Right Wing Assault; muawiyah
from the article: "Environmental groups are pushing back against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s plan to support a growing yogurt industry by easing regulations on large-scale dairy operations."

FredZarguna: "Even by New York standards, 300 cows, while above average, is not a “large” dairy farm."

Right Wing Assault: "Cuomo, what are you doing helping business?"

muawiyah: "This is where Conservatism leaps in to protect the status quo, no matter how evil it might be, unless the Democrats and their running dog lackeys GIVE UP SOMETHING WE WANT!"

All this is not so difficult, once you see the basics:

Bottom line: every year the total number of farms, farmers and cows declines, while milk production per cow increases.
So, farms which were once classified as "large" are now considered "small". Therefore, increasing New York's "small farm" limits from 200 to 300 cows is a more-or-less routine adjustment to changing economic reality.

Remember, farmers in general are natural Republicans -- you might say they are the base of our base -- unless we find new ways to abuse them, which let us pray, we will not ever do.

As for muawiyah extracting more concessions from Liberals, well, good luck with that, FRiend... ;-)

9 posted on 01/26/2013 6:10:46 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

it’s all about YOGURT and that’s where we got New York’s politicians by the A$$.


10 posted on 01/26/2013 6:39:05 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Right Wing Assault

Ulterior motive is exactly what I thought of when I spotted this, although I have to admit that I did not read the entire piece. He is surely backscratching here....


11 posted on 01/26/2013 7:00:50 AM PST by Bigg Red (Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Ps80)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!


12 posted on 01/26/2013 7:35:09 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: BroJoeK; neverdem; FredZarguna; Right Wing Assault; muawiyah
Remember, farmers in general are natural Republicans -- you might say they are the base of our base -- unless we find new ways to abuse them, which let us pray, we will not ever do.

I wish this were true.

But it isn't.

Most farmers say they're Republicans. But I can tell you from my personal experience of nearly 30 years writing software for farmers, farmers are on the government tit more than any other group. And like every group on the tit they have their own rationalizations for why in their case it's justified.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried to tell farmers in small operations in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States that they need to get off the subsidies, which are destroying farms. I've preached this in milking parlors, hogbarns, DHIA banquets, Holstein Association Meetings, Extension presentations, and award ceremonies for AI studs. Because our subsidies are based on production, they reward large operators who already enjoy significant competitive advantages over family farms because of economies of scale and retail bargaining leverage.

You try to tell a small farmer that subsidies (of various kinds, some well disguised, some outright bribes) are the reason that so many people who aren't worth a crap as farmers are able to stay in business and drive down profitability for everyone, and their response universally is: "You can't take away our subsidies. We'll be ruined."

Sorry, buddy. I love farmers. I personally come from a long line of farmers, who've been in Southeastern PA since before there even was a United States of America, and since I left academia, writing software for farmers has been my life. But they're only our friends as long as they keep getting money from the government and you can't convince them otherwise. Just look at what happened to Republican Senators in the 1982 mid-terms, when Reagan tried to phase out subsidies or when Gingrich passed the Freedom to Farm Act. Those measures were repealed with an absolute vengence, and here we go, yet again, year after year, with a huge Farm Bill.

13 posted on 01/26/2013 11:20:44 AM PST by FredZarguna (And it's a felony beef.)
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To: FredZarguna
FredZarguna: "Sorry, buddy. I love farmers. I personally come from a long line of farmers...
But they're only our friends as long as they keep getting money from the government and you can't convince them otherwise"

Oh, dear, do you ever sound confused, but where do we even begin to straighten you out?
How about here?

Bottom line: of course those large farmers you typically deal with want their "subsidies" to continue, not so much because they couldn't live without them, but rather because so many other industries receive similar preferential treatment, why should farmers be singled out for punishment?

The obvious solution is to reduce all tax rates, in exchange for eliminating government market-skewing "subsidies", a solution most Republican farmers would happily accept, but which would eliminate the Democrat government's role in picking winners and rewarding their backers.
So that's when you'd expose the difference between real Republicans and Democrats who just pretend to be something else.

14 posted on 01/27/2013 4:48:58 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
You don't know what you're talking about.

First, I don't deal primarily with large farms. Please go back and actually read my post. Corporate "Farmers" don't go to DHIA banquets or Holstein Association meetings or Grange Fairs.

Second, you're just talking about direct payment subsidies. Unfortunately, that is just a small trickle of the flood of free money available to farmers. All of the following are government services which farmers receive. ALL of them should be done away with.

Here are just a few of the services provided specifically by USDA to farmers at taxpayer expense. If it makes you happy to pretend they aren't subsidies because they aren't called subsidies, fine.

Oh dear: You are the one who is confused. Our Farmers work in the most Socialist part of our economy, and they have for generations. Every attempt that Republicans have ever made to bring them into free markets has been met by the most vicious demagoguery and recrimination.

And I will say one more thing: Agriculture is one of -- if not THE -- BIGGEST enablers of illegal immigration as well. Outside of the Amish properties I visit, I have not been on a single farm in the last ten years that did not rely exclusively on illegal labor in their milking parlors. NOT ONE, and fruit harvest, even on very small family farms, is trending in exactly the same direction.

15 posted on 01/27/2013 11:55:39 AM PST by FredZarguna (PA:The right of citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned)
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To: FredZarguna
FredZarguna: "Oh dear: You are the one who is confused. Our Farmers work in the most Socialist part of our economy, and they have for generations.
Every attempt that Republicans have ever made to bring them into free markets has been met by the most vicious demagoguery and recrimination."

Sorry, but if farmers really were as you portray them -- nothing but Democrat socialist takers -- then the most rural counties would vote the most Liberal, and the electoral map would be reversed.
Red states would be blue and blue states would be... who knows what?

But the truth is farmers are not "takers", not socialists and they don't vote for Democrats.
Of course, any farmer insists on getting good value for his money, and hates to throw money down some bottomless rat-hole, especially in the form of taxes to a government he (or she) doesn't much approve of.
So farmers, just like any other interest group, insist on getting "something back" for their hard earned tax dollars.
That "something back" takes the form of programs such as you describe.
But all such programs combined cost less than the value of taxes paid by farmers and agriculture in general to all levels of government.
In short, in the minds of most farmers: they are paying for a lot more in government services than they actually receive.

So, farmers look at themselves as not only supplying the world's best quality, lowest cost food, but also supporting with their hard work, welfare payments to people who refuse to work.
That's why you are never going to convince a farmer that he or she is nothing but a Democrat socialist taker.

By the way, it's a small point, but the definition of "socialism" is: government ownership of the means of production.
So what percentage of farmers favor government taking their farms away to form giant collectives?
Answer: zero.
But 100% of farmers want good value for their money, and that includes all the money they spend for government services: taxes.

16 posted on 01/31/2013 3:11:10 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: muawiyah

Is that the case? I was under the impression that NY dairy farms are effectively capped in size by state, rather than federal, regulations.


17 posted on 01/31/2013 3:26:51 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: BroJoeK; FredZarguna

I’m from a farm family and so I learned up close how people can rationalize that which is in their personal interest—included a large, controlling and redistributive intrusion of government in any area that benefits them individually.

Such it is not only with overt government subsidies, but price supports and other regulations that help those in the business.

Thus, in farm-intensive regions of the country, we can end up with “Republicans” like Chuck Hagel.

And, of course, socialism isn’t only defined as abject communism, but as this opening paragraph to the Wikipedia discussion describes, all sorts of government control of the means of production:

“Socialism refers to an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.[1] “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.[2] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[3] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organised within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.[4]”

Farmers on average declare a relatively low income, and so end up being significant lifetime ‘takers’ in social security and Medicare ‘handouts’, as well as regular farm subsidies and regulatory benefits.

I don’t doubt but that farmers justify their handouts to themselves by considering that they put in in taxes more than they take out in benefits, but that’s just not the case—especially in an environment in which we are borrowing something like 40 cents on every dollar we spend. We’re broke as it is, without special payouts to favored industries. And due to imperfect distribution of US Senate representation by population, farmers are in that position, which they take advantage of, becoming in essence ‘crony capitalists’.


18 posted on 01/31/2013 4:03:10 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
9YearLurker: "socialism isn’t only defined as abject communism, but as this opening paragraph to the Wikipedia discussion describes, all sorts of government control of the means of production...
"...farmers are in that position, which they take advantage of, becoming in essence ‘crony capitalists’."

If you had read that Wikipedia definition, you'd have noticed that government "ownership" is included in every sense of the word "socialism".
As for "crony capitalists", that requires a certain level of outright corruption -- government individuals favoring their own friends and family over others.
And I don't think that's what we're looking at here.

9YearLurker: "Thus, in farm-intensive regions of the country, we can end up with “Republicans” like Chuck Hagel."

Why do you bite the hand which feeds conservatism?
Virtually every seriously conservative legislator is elected from the more rural areas of their states.
Farmers don't vote for liberal Democrats.

9YearLurker: "Farmers on average declare a relatively low income, and so end up being significant lifetime ‘takers’ in social security and Medicare ‘handouts’, as well as regular farm subsidies and regulatory benefits."

If you are going to count Social Security and Medicare as "welfare", then virtually everyone is a "taker", and as, was it Newsweek?, said: "we're all Socialists now".

But I don't buy that.
Most people, and all Republicans, understand that major adjustments have to be made to bring these programs into financial solvency, but the numbers of people -- farmers or non-farmers -- who opt out of such programs is small enough you have to look hard to find them.

In short, if you define "conservatism" in narrow-enough terms, you'll soon find there are no "real conservatives".
That doesn't seem to me a very politically viable option, FRiend.

19 posted on 01/31/2013 5:57:33 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
First, You have not replied to a single program that I pointed out to you.

Second, your claim that farmers receive less in benefits than they pay in taxes if false. The estimate is that the number of farms in the US would be reduced by more than half if direct and indirect payments were removed. And that is EXACTLY what needs to be done. We need about half the people now farming to go out of business because they're terrible businessmen and terrible farmers who have NO CLUE as to what they're doing so that half that remain can finally make some money in a free market where the price of food is determined by market conditions and not where government interference sets prices to be. And yes, when the government gives money to one group at the expense of another, sets prices, and determines who gets to farm by fiat rather than by market laws, that IS socialism.

Third, your claim that farmers can't be socialists because they vote for the most "conservative" candidates is not only silly, but I've already demolished it in the previous post (to which you have yet to respond.) Whenever true conservatives have tried to get farmers off the tit, farmers have thrown them out of office, or made such a squawk that the bills are repealed double-quick. Farmers vote for the most "conservative" candidates -- as long as once in office they keep bringing home the bacon. Farmers vote against socialist programs in the rest of the economy, but they vote in favor of them when they perceive their own interests are in play.

Finally, I notice you don't respond, and can't respond, to the claim that farmers are one of the groups destroying the country with the importation of Third World slave labor whose hospitalization and other benefits have to be subsidized by all of the other taxpayers. Again, try taking that illegal labor away, and you'll find out how "conservative" farmers are.

In short, in the minds of most farmers: they are paying for a lot more in government services than they actually receive.

And there IS THE PROBLEM. This is true in the minds of farmers. But isn't true in the real world.

Please don't respond with your emotions and feeeeeeeeelings and empty opinions again; I've heard your nonsense hundreds of times over the last 50+ years. Come back with actual, documented facts, or don't bother.

20 posted on 01/31/2013 6:01:51 PM PST by FredZarguna (Because EVERY day is kid's day!)
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To: FredZarguna
FredZarguna: "Please don't respond with your emotions and feeeeeeeeelings and empty opinions again; I've heard your nonsense hundreds of times over the last 50+ years. Come back with actual, documented facts, or don't bother."

Sorry FRiend, but first you continue to miss my points, and now you're flying off the handle for no reason.

I don't dispute any of your facts, just your interpretations of them.
And if you can cite some cases of rural farming counties which vote solid Democrats, then I'll concede those really are just a bunch of socialist takers.
But the reality is that most of the conservative vote in this country comes from rural counties, which has to mean your average farmer is not a liberal Democrat.
And that's the only point I'm making, and indeed, you seem to concede it, despite all your huffing and puffing.

FredZarguna: "We need about half the people now farming to go out of business because they're terrible businessmen and terrible farmers who have NO CLUE as to what they're doing so that half that remain can finally make some money in a free market where the price of food is determined by market conditions and not where government interference sets prices to be."

You probably already know that the number of farmers has been shrinking by half every couple of decades for well over 100 years.
And this despite all the government programs intended to keep small farmers farming.
Every year there are fewer and fewer, larger and larger farms.

So your wish to see the numbers of farmers reduced by half has already been granted, many times, and continues to be partially granted every year.
Point is, all those socialistic government programs have done nothing but maybe slow the process of reducing the numbers of farms and growing the average farm size.

Indeed, as I pointed out in post #13 above, the top 10% of all farms received 80% of government subsidies.
So those programs are not even about saving small farmers.

But the bottom line is still this: despite your inexplicable desire to portray small farmers in the worst possible light -- as a bunch of ignorant Democrat socialist takers -- the fact is: farmers are among the most reliably conservative voters we have.

FredZarguna: "Second, your claim that farmers receive less in benefits than they pay in taxes if false."

Which you claim without presenting any data to support it.
I was not able to find more recent data, but numbers from the 1990s suggests that larger farmers pay over $100 billion per year in taxes, and that agriculture related businesses pay additional hundreds of billions.
So the relatively small amounts paid as welfare to small farmers, or price supports for larger farms, seems to me a rather pitiful return on successful farmers' tax "investment" in Federal and other government services.

FredZarguna: "Farmers vote against socialist programs in the rest of the economy, but they vote in favor of them when they perceive their own interests are in play."

As I've explained before, if you offered your average successful farmer a 50% reduction in total taxes, in exchange for privatizing various government farm-welfare programs, I think you'd find they will take that offer as a good deal.
But as long as they are forced into paying ever higher taxes, I don't think it's surprising that farmers would want something of value back, in the form of government services.

So again, my main point here is simply to plea for some understanding and sympathy for smaller farmers.
If history is a guide, they are doomed to economic extinction anyway, government programs only delay the inevitable for many, and in the mean time, they really are your proto-typical small businessman, the heart and soul of a conservative Republican party.

So don't trash talk them, FRiend. ;-)

21 posted on 02/01/2013 12:23:00 PM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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