It's hardly surprising that the Farm Bill passed this year by Congress is a bloated and idiotic boondoggle. Baylen Linnekin is one of many who's written thousands of words on the topic. But lost perhaps amidst the focus on Congress's role in (mis)shaping American agriculture are less newsworthy state laws that have similarly nefarious impact on farmers and consumers alike. Take Georgia's Vidalia® Onion Committee (yes, "Vidalia® Onion" is a registered trademark). That's right. The state has a Vidalia® Onion Committee. The stated role of the commission is "to jointly fund research and promotional programs." The committee has been in the new recently thanks to a court case challenging rules it established that mandate specific shipment and marketing dates for Vidalia onions.
The existence of rules like those that handcuff many Georgia Vidalia farmers aren't new and are by no means restricted to Georgia, warns Linnekin.