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Monnie Ryan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/25/2008
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Farm Photography Legislation


Just read that legislation has been introduced in several states that essentially would prohibit photography (and videos or other recordings) of agricultural operations, farm buildings and animals, etc., without permission of the owner. Violation of the law, if passed, would be a criminal offense (among those mentioned in the article in which such legislation is pending are big agricultural states like Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois and Iowa. No idea how it will shake down (or if it will), but it seems like something photographers like me who love to take farm scenes may want to keep an eye on.


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3/15/2012 7:08:27 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  What kind of a dumb idea is that? Why on Earth would anybody think it was a good idea? What purpose is it supposed to serve? I'm ashamed of my home state of Iowa, if this is the case. Where did you hear about it?


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3/15/2012 11:16:49 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
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  ...and one more thought.. how would they prove it was their cornfield or black cow? Seems impossible to enforce.


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3/15/2012 11:18:17 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
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  Sounds like this is to prevent documenting of farming tactics and practices, more than recording other people's property. I'd bet Monsanto is behind this, as well as lobbyist for the poultry and pork industry.
They're probably trying to have some kind of recourse against documentaries done on how the food we eat is raised, grown, and processed. Such as when somebody uses a hidden camera to expose stuff they don't want known, it would be a way of suing, keeping it from getting out, or make people afraid to do it. After all, if a law says it's illegal to film/video a farm, how would a journalist be able to expose a pork farm for illegally dumping waste into a water supply?
Check out the documentary, "Food Inc.". Really shows a sad side to not only how some food gets to our table, but also how companies and parts of the industry can strong arm farmers, who just want to grow and sell a good product, into doing things the way the big corporations want it done.
Like a company can have a patent on a gene for a soybean plant. And farmers need their seeds cleaned at some point for storage and what not, by people who provide that service. Well through intimidation, the company with the gene patent tries to force farmers to use their seed, and also try to force people to not use the people who do the seed cleaning. So if farmers a scared about being sued if they go to the seed cleaner, the seed cleaner can't be in business to clean the seeds for other farmers.
They get that level of intimidation because if one farmer is using the patented seed, if a bird or bee carries pollen from those plants to a farm with different soybean plants, the big corporation has the means and the willingness to come see if their patented gene is showing up in those other plants, and cause a lot of grief for the other farmer.
Got a little carried away with the post, but I don't think this new legislation is about getting a pretty picture of someone's rustic barn in a landscape photo.


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3/15/2012 2:35:15 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  Sounds like an interesting documentary.
I'm sure innocent people could get caught in the crossfire, though.


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3/15/2012 2:45:19 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
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  That could be a secondary goal. Keeping any and everybody away. More control and secrecy.


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3/15/2012 3:02:24 PM

 
Monnie Ryan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/25/2008
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  Since BP members are prohibited from posting links to potentially competing websites (which is where I first read about this first), try Googling "farm photography legislation" if you want to learn more. Some components of the legislation make sense to some degree, I suppose, but the potential implications for "regular" photographers are a little bit scary.


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3/15/2012 5:02:59 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  I totally agree with Greg - Monsanto has more power than they should. You cant even trust the label "Organic" as the standards were changed so that Monsanto can stick the label on their Frankenfood.
Some countries have been successful fending off Monsanto but many US farmers are basically forced to comply or go out of business.
Co-op health food stores have been raided because they sell locally grown healthy food and their stocks are destroyed by Stormtrooping FDA, CDC & the Sheriffs Dept troops in riot gear - (Google Rawesome Foods).
The writing is on the wall that We the People no longer have a voice and we will be told what to eat, what we can do & how to act. Currently a bunch of male Republicans are deciding the fate of womens rights concerning their own health & reproductive rights with not a single woman on the panel to voice an opinion. They definitely dont want us photographing or reporting their poisoned fields of crops & cattle and this is how they will limit information from being spread about it.
I hate to bring politics into my sacred photography site but when politics start forcing their way into our world, we all need to be aware of just how much force can be brought and how little their concerns are for our rights.
Dont trust the media - 90% of ALL TV, Radio, Newspapers & the Internet are controlled by 6 corporations (AOL/Time Warner, Disney, Bertelsman, Viacom, NewsCorp & NBC/Comcast) and they are all reporting from the same script.
I have a lot more information to share but will stop here. Dont hesitate to contact me if you would like to know some of my resources & sites for reference :)
Carlton


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3/16/2012 3:19:25 PM

 
Janet Schill   Ok folks, calm down. The legislation is not trying to stop photographers from taking beautiful landscape pictures. It trying to protect large animal operations from being victims of the finatic(sp?) organizations that want all our chickens and cows to roam free (except in their back yards). People really need to do their homework on the ag industry before they get all worked up. I'm a farmer first and a photographer second. I use Monsanto products (among alot of other companies) and yes, I buy and plant their seed that they have spent billions of dollars to breed to fight off disease and produce more bushels per acre with better quality grain. I also pay a technology fee to use their seed. This fee allows them the funds to continue their research and plant breeding so us farmers can feed YOU and the rest of the world. Thanks to the continuing increases in crop yields, the world's farmers now actually harvest several hundred million tons more grain each year on tens of millions of acres less land than formerly harvested in the 1970s and 1980s.

Yes, there are some bad animal confinement operations in this country, but they are few and far between. Remember the old saying, "a few bad apples". And for those of you who think organic is the way to go, that's an option, but look under your kitchen sink and in your garage. Urban folks apply more chemicals per acre in their homes and yards than any farmer would ever dream of applying to their crops. My children and grandchildren eat the same food products off the same grocery shelves as the rest of you and I would never produce a product that would harm them.

So, once again, you photographers who love to take landscape pictures, calm down. Most of us farmers would love to have you do so. Just respect the fact that the land belongs to someone, ask permission if you need to enter the property, leave it as you find it (it's someones backyard), don't damage the crops or property and most of all, enjoy the view, we do. And if you're ever up my way (North Dakota), stop in and I'll show you around.


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3/18/2012 8:57:05 PM

 
Irene Colling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2008
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  Thank you Janet for your voice of reason. I was dismayed by the inflated thoughts being expressed here and wondered how a simple question could take such a misguided turn.


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3/18/2012 9:22:47 PM

 
E. Dorenda Doyle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/17/2011
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  Anybody ever see the movie, "Soylent Green" (1973, Charlston Heston)? This entire conversation reminds me of it . . .


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6/4/2012 7:32:20 AM

 
gary carter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/23/2010
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  GREAT comment, Janet. A dose of reason and logic is always welcome.


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6/11/2012 1:48:31 PM

 
Sandy Osterday
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  Very well put Janet - Thank You from a fellow farmer.
For those of you who don't farm think it this way, would you like someone coming into your business or home and taking undercover photos or video and posting them on line ? Photos and videos can be edited to make it look like there is something horrible occurring when there really isn't. Granted there are people who abuse and miss-use but 99% of us treat our livestock and land with great respect, it is more then a business it is our way of life 24 hours a day, seven days a week 365 days a year and we want to pass it on for many generations. It is a big responsibility to feed the world - and one we don't take lightly !


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5/14/2013 1:08:34 PM

 
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