Nothing makes you appreciate living in the United States quite like spending time in another country where freedoms that we take for granted aren’t quite so free. 

On Farm Bureau’s market study tour of England and Scotland last month, we discovered farmers there face significantly more regulatory oversight that makes farming more difficult and less efficient. 

The general consensus of the group by the end of the trip was that none of the Iowa farmers would trade places with their UK counterparts. Our insight into England’s cumbersome regulations started almost as soon as we landed at Heathrow Airport in London. After collecting our luggage, we faced a 90-minute wait while our bus driver collected the permit he needed to pick us up in the designated bus area. 

Later, we had to make an unscheduled 45-minute stop when our driver ran out of driving time before we made it to our farm tour for the morning. Driving times are logged electronically, so there is no skirting the rules. 

At every stop, UK farmers told us that regulations contribute to higher production costs. And they felt helpless to fight back against a government that doesn’t put a high priority on agriculture.

U.S. farmers certainly face their share of regulations, but the Iowa farmers said they at least feel like they have government representatives who will listen to their concerns and an organization in Farm Bureau that will help fight for sensible state and federal rules. 

That makes celebrating our freedoms extra meaningful this Independence Day.