Washington, D.C.—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to be guided by sound science and rigorous, realistic assessment of costs and benefits when developing new environmental regulations impacting agriculture, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) said as the Senate Agriculture Committee prepared to hear from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today.
“America’s farmers and ranchers care deeply about being good stewards of the land; they understand that taking care of nature’s resources is the key to maintaining a profitable and sustainable operation that can be passed to their children and grandchildren,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC.
“They know also that how well they care for the resources on their farms and ranches also affects the broader community and the environment, and they take this responsibility seriously,” he added. “However, many of these producers have seen the EPA issue regulations that would have little real world benefit while saddling producers and their co-ops with costly requirements for compliance.”
“That is why I would like to commend the Senate Agriculture Committee’s chairman, Senator Blanche Lincoln, and its ranking member, Senator Saxby Chambliss, for holding today’s hearing,” Conner continued. “In too many cases, EPA has failed to make a good faith effort to engage producers in the process from the start; in too many cases, EPA regulations have gone beyond what the law, sound science, good overall policy or simple common sense would dictate.”
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.