Earlier this year, FMCSA sought to
define crop-share tenant farmers as "for-hire" carriers and
implements of husbandry as "commercial motor vehicles." The
"for-hire" designation for crop-share tenant farmers would have a
dramatic effect on farmers because it voids exemptions from the
Commercial Driver's License program and would require a minimum of
$750,000 in insurance coverage for the farmer. After hearing from
farmers across the nation, FMCSA reversed its previous decision,
ensuring that farmers will not have to comply with overly burdensome
Several central Illinois lawmakers
praised this decision and thanked local farmers for providing
comments to FMCSA in opposition to the proposed regulations.
State Reps. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, Adam Brown, R-Decatur, and
Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, sponsored
House Resolution 470, which urged the federal government to
reverse its recent interpretation of the farm vehicle rules. The
legislators are relieved that FMCSA listened to their concerns.
"We didn't want to see the proposed rules force small farmers out
of business," Mitchell said. "We filed HR 470 and worked with our
local Farm Bureaus to get the word out to farmers. They responded in
force with comments on the proposed rules, and it is great to see
that the feds listened to farmers' concerns."
"As a family farmer, I knew that the proposed farm vehicle rules
would hurt Illinois farmers and our agricultural economy," Brown
said. "I am very pleased that the federal government made the
common-sense decision to reverse course on these regulations.
Farmers have enough regulations to deal with as is."
"Family farmers are the backbone of our downstate economy," Rose
said. "We need less red tape for our farmers, not more. This is the
right decision for Illinois agriculture."
[to top of second column]
Local Farm Bureau leaders were also pleased with the decision.
"This is the good news that farmers have wanted to hear," said
Tim Stock, Macon County Farm Bureau manager. "Going into a busy
fall, farmers will now be able to continue their business
"Outside of the feds leaving the interstate versus intrastate
regulations fuzzy, we kept nearly all we had hoped for in
keeping farm exemptions in place," said Larry Dallas, Douglas County
Farm Bureau president. "It never seemed to make sense to call
farmers 'for-hire motor carriers.'"
"I am happy that crop-share tenants will no longer be considered
for-hire truckers. This is great news for central Illinois farmers,"
said Amy Rochkes, Shelby County Farm Bureau manager.
[Text from file sent on behalf of
Mitchell by Illinois
House Republican staff]