Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Young Farmers and Ranchers Tell EPA to Ditch the Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2014 – America’s young farmers and ranchers are speaking out on the devastating impact their new businesses will suffer under the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.

AFBF’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee outlined its key concerns regarding the Waters of the U.S. rule in formal comments submitted to the EPA.

“EPA keeps grasping for control over our farms and ranches,” AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Chair Jake Carter said. “Young farmers and ranchers are the future of American agriculture, and we take our role of protecting the land seriously. This proposal puts serious roadblocks in our way without any material improvements in water quality.”

Young farmers and ranchers are especially vulnerable to increased costs in farming. Since the already narrow “normal farming and ranching” exemption in the Clean Water Act excludes farms and ranches that started operating after 1977, farmers and ranchers with newer businesses will need permits for basic farming activities, including simply moving dirt.

Under this proposed rule, the only thing that is clear and certain is that it will be more difficult to farm and ranch, or to make any changes on the land—even if those changes would benefit the environment, the AFBF committee said.

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