An August 18 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Obama on the Farm’, missed the underlying fact: the Obama administration understands that America’s farmers are some of our nation’s finest conservationists, and we have gone to historic lengths to support them in these efforts.
Sadly, rumors and misconceptions have become the norm, not the exception, especially when it comes to regulations and the Obama administration’s work on agriculture. First, it was that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was considering treating spilled milk like an oil spill. Not true. In terms of water regulations, EPA has made it clear that recent rules do not seek to regulate land that occasionally ponds during heavy rains. Read more »
Terry Bachtold (left), Livingston County SCWD, and Richard Hungerford, Illinois NRCS MRBI coordinator, talk before presenters begin the next stop.
Terry Bachtold is proud of what the Indian Creek Watershed Project is doing for water quality in north central Illinois. Read more »
USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist’s Climate Change Program Office has released the “U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2008” report. This report provides detailed estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration from the management of livestock, croplands, and forests, as well as from energy use in agriculture that will be useful to states and localities. In 2008, agricultural greenhouse gas sources accounted for about 6% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
It was prepared collaboratively with contributions from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, USDA Climate Change Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and researchers at Colorado State University. Read more »
Blue Lake - Photo by Mark Wilson, Tahoe National Forest
The prestigious EPA clean air award acknowledges the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, the US Forest Service and Sierra Pacific Industries who have teamed to implement projects designed to cost effectively manage portions of the 550,000 acres of forested lands that are at severe risk for wildfire in the Lake Tahoe region. Read more »
At Monty Collins’ cattle operation near Pleasantville, a rotational grazing system helps protect soil and water quality. A few miles away near Prairie City, Gordon Wassenaar has used no-till farming and a precision sprayer for years to minimize pesticide use and runoff from his soybean fields. We visited both of these Iowa farmers last week, to discuss the collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and farmers, ranchers and growers all across America.
American farmers are among our nation’s first and finest conservationists. They understand better than anyone that clean water, clear air and healthy soil are the raw materials for agricultural production. From generations of experience, they know that you cannot continually take from the soil without giving back, and they have made incredible strides to protect the land they rely on. Read more »
The Bisbee, Arizona Fire Station #81 was brimming with “officials”—the mayor, city council members, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ staff representative, and the acting state director for USDA Rural Development—but the attention was all on the rest of the crowd. Most of the residents of Tin Town, a small Colonia within Bisbee, Arizona, were sitting in the audience among the officials and they rocked!
Tin Town residents had been waiting a long time for this day. USDA Rural Development (RD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are jointly funding a $1.4 million wastewater collection system to connect the people of Tin Town to the Bisbee wastewater facility. Currently, the residents rely on failing septic systems and cesspools, a health risk for the residents and the environment they share with the rest of the area. Read more »