Court Orders Calif. to Count Ballots in Union Decertification Vote

This took forever.

(From The Washington Free Beacon)

After five years California farm workers will finally see their votes to kick out their union counted after a state court unanimously ruled that a state agency had interfered with the election.

A three-judge panel from the California Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled that the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board improperly blocked a 2013 election to decertify the United Farm Workers from representing workers at Gerawan Farming, Inc. The ruling called the labor board’s treatment of the workers as “either arbitrary or punitive (or both).” The Court found that the campaign to cut ties with the union was an organic “worker-initiated and worker led movement,” rather than an employer-sponsored one.

In 2014 we wrote;

California, what are you doing to yourself? You were so beautiful. You were once full of so much life. So full of promise and opportunity. But now look at you. The Golden State isn’t very golden anymore. You are sinking into the big government (socialist?) morass more and more every year. You are run by the prison workers, teacher’s, and (apparently) the farm worker’s unions. It’s just a shame.

What’s particularly deplorable is that the state is helping the United Farm Workers in its effort to shake down the very farm workers it says it represents. The union took off 20 years ago and has returned to the farm in question looking for revenue. The long lost union is demanding that everyone at this particular peach farm pay the UFW 3% of their pay. Though we don’t know for sure the workers likely voted against forking over their pay.

But the state regulator won’t say.

(From CNBC.com)

A group of California farm workers for the nation’s largest peach operation voted on whether to kick out or accept representation by the United Farm Workers. That was last November.

They still don’t know the results of the vote.

The state’s Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB) won’t reveal the vote pending the outcome of an investigation into the voting. The investigation has been going on for months, and no one knows when it will be completed. In the meantime, the ALRB appointed a mediator who wrote up a three-year contract that, under California law, can unilaterally be imposed on the farmer, Dan Gerawan. He’s gone to court to stop that. “The contract was written by the government itself,” Gerawan said. “Not even the employees have a say in what goes in that contract.”

Click here for the article.

Read more from Against Crony Capitalism…

USDA Wildlife Services killed over 1.3 million native animals in 2017 in the name of Big Agriculture

Data released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that more than 1.3 million native animals were killed by Wildlife Services in 2017 – and despite the fact that the slaughter of wolves, cougars, and birds was funded by taxpayers to benefit the agriculture industry, it is receiving very little media attention. The total number of animals killed by USDA in 2017 was 2.3 million, and many of the species were killed by the thousands as members of Wildlife Services responded to requests from agricultural corporations by turning to lethal measures to remove the animals by employing the use of poisons, gases, snares, and firearms. According to the report from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the death toll in 2017 included 69,041 coyotes – 15,631 were shot and killed by snipers on fixed-wing aircrafts, 14,062 were trapped with snares and 12,119 were killed by cyanide poison; 23,646 beavers – the majority were caught by traps and 2,375 were killed by firearms; and 15,933 prairie dogs – the overwhelming majority were targeted and killed by firearms.

Read more from Signs of the Times…

U Of Illinois Economists’ Analyze The House’s Proposed Farm Bill

U OF ILLINOIS ECONOMISTS’ ANALYZE THE HOUSE’S PROPOSED FARM BILL Apr. 30, 2018 Source: Univ of Illinois news release On Thursday, April 18, 2018, the House Agriculture Committee reported its version of the farm bill titled the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 . The vote to report the bill to the full House was 26 to 20 and notable because the vote was partisan; no Democrats voted for it, no Republicans voted against it .

Read more from Loan Payments…

Marijuana grow facility proposed in Lanesborough

A Milford collaborative is eyeing a local farm as a place to grow millions of dollars worth of marijuana with an earnings potential valued in the tens of thousands of dollars for the town. New England Agriculture Technologies proposes to buy up to seven acres of land from Gray Raven Farm owners Dan and Sharon Bergeron.

Read more from Ronald Gray…

Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Part I)

American families make hard choices about spending every day, carefully budgeting to make ends meet and plan for the future.

Shouldn’t the same rules apply to our federal government?

You would think! Yet the national debt has now hit $21 trillion and Congress keeps on spending.

Sen. James Lankford has documented some of the most ridiculous ways the government has spent YOUR hard-earned tax dollars over the years in his annual report, Federal Fumbles.

In this blog series, we’ll take a close look at some of the most egregious examples of government waste from Sen. Lankford’s reports over the years.

Check out five crazy examples of wasteful government spending from Sen. Lankford’s 2015 report below:

$374,087 Spent Watching Grandma’s Dating Behavior

In 2015, the federal government spent $374,087 in taxpayer dollars observing senior adults’ dating habits.

The National Science Foundation study’s stated objective of obtaining a “more comprehensive understanding of relationship maintenance efforts” was murky at best.

$67.9 Million Spent on Wild Horse Management

Tell the federal government to stop horsin’ around with your tax dollars!

In FY 2014 alone, the Bureau of Land Management spent $67.9 million to manage the growing population of thousands of wild horses that span across 26.9 million acres in the American West.

Instead of making taxpayers pay for the care and feeding of these horses, the government should transfer the management of wild horses and burros to humane, private organizations.

$43 Million Spent on a Gas Station…in Afghanistan

From 2011 to 2014, the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, tasked with building up Afghanistan’s economy, spent nearly $43 million to build a Compressed Natural Gas filling station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan.

Sadly, someone didn’t do their research, or they would have discovered that there was no natural gas distribution ability in Afghanistan and the cost to convert a vehicle to CNG exceeded the average annual income in the country.

After a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars – spending a total of $766 million during the organization’s lifetime, the DOD closed the failed TFBSO in March 2015.

Millions Spent Marketing U.S. Raisins in Foreign Countries

The Department of Agriculture spends HOW much marketing raisins?

The Foreign Service Market Access Program spends nearly $200 million of your money annually to pay companies and trade groups for advertising, market research and travel costs to promote American products overseas.

Since 1998, the Raisin Administrative Committee – a group of 46 California raisin growers and packers – has received more than $38 million in taxpayer funds from the Market Access Program to promote their raisins abroad.

The catch? The Raisin Administrative Committee already produces 99.5 percent of all American raisins and 45 percent of the world’s raisins.

$2.6 Million to Help Truckers Diet

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is great – but it should not be done on the taxpayers’ dime. From 2011 to 2015, American taxpayers have spent a total of $2.6 million to fund a trucker weight-loss intervention program, sponsored by the National Institute of Health.

The federal government would do well to trim its annual budget in the future by cutting wasteful programs like this one.

As you can see, these programs are not a valuable use of anyone’s tax dollars. The American people have had enough!

Tell Congress to stop wasting our hard-earned tax dollars! It’s time for our lawmakers put the American people first, and stop overspending! 

Then, stay tuned to see the next round of wasteful government spending projects!

The post Five Outrageous Ways the Federal Government Has Wasted Your Money (Part I) appeared first on Americans for Prosperity.

Read more from Americans for Prosperity…

Agri office starts solar-powered irrigation project

If only our groundwater sources could breathe a sigh of relief, they would. This is because the heavy load of excessive groundwater extraction may soon be lessened as the Department of Agriculture has started its solar-powered irrigation projects in different areas of the country, harnessing both surface water sources and solar energy, and at the same time offsetting the use of harmful fossil fuels and the need to extract water from underground water sources.

Read more from Enough Data…

Diesel Fuel Prices Could Hit Record Highs

Prices for diesel fuel may revisit record highs within the next year or two, affecting many markets-from refiners to transportation to agriculture. U.S. diesel prices at the pump stood at $3.16 a gallon on Thursday, according to data compiled by the Oil Price Information Service, or OPIS, for motoring and leisure-travel group AAA.

Read more from Oil Prices…