When people think of the struggles for businesses dealing with government overregulation, they probably have in mind a firm housed in a tall building with lots of people in suits making the big decisions.
But it turns out people whose livelihood depends on Mother Earth deal with the same problems of overregulation.
When state Agriculture Secretary George Greig spoke at a legislative breakfast recently, he said government regulation is the number-one problem faced by Pennsylvania farmers.
He said it is an even bigger problem than input costs that most people would think are the biggest drag on farmers.
He spoke of regulations on everyone from noise and dust control to the application of pesticides.
Greig is a lifelong farmer, so he understands not only the need for some regulation, but the strangulation that comes with too much regulation.
Those regulations include policies added in as part of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, including a manure management manual.
Although the state did not previously have such a manual, it already had a conservation best practices lists that exceeds those of other states in the bay watershed.
The state has 200,000 acres of farmland enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or CREP. Greig wondered, rhetorically, how many acres were enrolled in neighboring states for the program, adding Maryland, "would have to annex Delaware to have that many acres enrolled."
Overregulation. A steeper price to do business than other states. It's not just what people in ties and suits deal with. Folks in blue jeans and flannel shirts deal with it, too. Unfortunately, government overregulation is everywhere.