In the News

Jim Baird disappointed as FMCSA denies farmers’ petition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Indiana 4th District Congressman Jim Baird (R-Greencastle) released a statement Thursday after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) denied agriculture groups’ petition for exemption.

“For the last two years, our farmers and ranchers have endured supply-chain disruptions and soaring inflation rates driving up costs, yet the FMCSA’s decision to ignore our producers by denying this common sense petition to exempt truck drivers transporting agricultural commodities from federal mandates limiting the hours a driver can be on the job will only make their work more difficult,” Congressman Baird said.

“Transporting livestock and other agricultural commodities is a challenging task that requires flexibility,” Baird added. “We simply cannot apply a one-size-fits-all policy to an area that necessitates a more nuanced approach.”

The FMCSA Wednesday denied the joint application from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and National Aquaculture Association requesting an exemption for drivers transporting agricultural commodities from federal mandates which limit the hours a driver can be on the job.

Specifically, the applicants requested approval for drivers, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, to drive through the 16th consecutive hour after coming on duty, and to drive a total of 15 hours during that 16-hour period.