WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appointed American Soybean Association (ASA) Chairman Davie Stephens, a soybean grower from Kentucky, to its Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC).
Established in 2008, the FRRCC is a policy-oriented committee that provides policy advice, information and recommendations to Administrator Andrew Wheeler on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.
“It’s important that U.S. farmers have continued access to a broad array of tools to keep growing safe, sustainable products, while remaining profitable and good stewards of the land,” Stephens said. “I am honored and excited to join this committee and contribute the soy growers’ perspective to these conversations on regulatory and environmental policies, which can have critical impacts on agriculture and our ability to farm.”
In selecting committee members, EPA reviewed nearly 150 applications received late 2019 and considered qualifications for those nominees, including: whether candidates have experience in agricultural issues of relevance to EPA programs, are actively engaged in agricultural production, have related leadership experience, have demonstrated ability to examine and analyze complex environmental issues with objectivity and integrity, have experience working on issues where building consensus is necessary, and are able to volunteer time to the committee’s activities.
“It’s great to see EPA engage with farmers, and Davie is an excellent choice for the Committee,” ASA CEO Ryan Findlay said. “We recognize EPA’s regulatory role in developing responsible and practical rules that make sense. Administrator Wheeler’s decision to open the door for conversation and input from rural America speaks volumes. Farmers such as Davie are responsible stewards of the environment and having grower engagement in EPA decisions that directly impact farming is important.”
The committee is comprised of 33 representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local and tribal governments. Members serve two to three-year terms and meet twice a year. In a press release about the 33 appointees, Administrator Wheeler said, “One of my priorities for EPA has been to restore trust for our agency among agricultural stakeholders and rural communities…This committee will provide valuable input on how EPA’s decisions impact rural America, and I look forward to receiving the committee’s recommendations.”
–American Soybean Association
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