Updated to include “proposed” language, below.
Several weeks back, the House Committee on Agriculture conducted a listening session at the University of Florida. This was an opportunity for farmers, ranchers and any other interested parties to make their voices heard. The Chairman along with 10 representatives from around the U.S. heard from Florida, Georgia Farm Bureau and many others for about 3 hours.
I signed up to provide testimony but time ran out before the committee could hear from me and about 30 other interested parties. Fortunately, an email address (below) for input was provided. Also, based upon the success of this session, the Chairman introduced additional sessions over the coming weeks.
Below is the comments I submitted to the email address provided. I believe today’s farmers and ranchers incorporating new technologies and best management practices are not only improving crop yield, they are reducing water use and improving water quality. These efforts need to be recognized in the next Farm Bill.
Mr. Chairman, members, thank you for this opportunity to express our desires for the 2018 Farm Bill. It is no secret farmers and ranchers are over regulated. Local, state, and federal agencies either have their hand in the farmers pocket or, make the farmer spend hours away from the field trying to comply with over burdensome regulations.
IMPAC has been working with the Specialty Crop Alliance on language believed will lessen this burden and reduce regulations our administration is counting on.
IMPAC proposed a “presumption of compliance” when farmers and ranchers incorporate Best Management Practices (BMP) that improve water quality and reduce water use. This “presumption of compliance” could result in the EPA and the Army Corps reducing enforcement efforts.
While many states currently incorporate BMP’s some do not, this would encourage those states to incorporate BMP’s or other types of certification efforts such as IMPAC. And, will help improve water quality and reduce water use around the Country.
While additional comments and thoughts to help American farmers and ranchers could be submitted, IMPAC will reserve this opportunity for future correspondence. Once again, thank you for visiting the Great State of Florida and the University of Florida.
If you would like to add testimony and go on record for the Next Farm Bill, email them to HouseAgListens@mail.house.gov