Monday, January 02, 2017

AFBF- Farmers concerned about government overreach

American farmers are united in their resolve for reform in 2017, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers and ranchers made their voices heard in 2016, but we need to keep telling our stories if we want to be at the heart of shaping the policies that will impact our businesses and way of life,” Duvall said. “The close of one year ushers in new goals for the next, and I am confident that working together through Farm Bureau offers us that common platform for progress.” Duvall, the Georgia farmer who was elected AFBF president last year, will wheel the gavel Friday, Jan. 6 opening the 98th annual convention and trade show in Phoenix, Arizona. The six-day meeting concludes Jan. 11. Aside from contests, awards and keynote speakers, the AFBF’s delegation session promises a thorough preview of potential policy proposals for a new farm bill. High on the agenda is the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized rule which significantly expands the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act in August 2015. “EPA not only failed to listen to concerned farmers, ranchers and business owners around the country in crafting its new rule, but actually managed to make the final rule worse than anticipated,” according to AFBF spokesmen. “The agency is making it impossible for farmers and ranchers to look at their land and know what can be regulated. EPA has vastly expanded its authority beyond the limits approved by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.” The WOTUS rule grants regulatory control over virtually all waters, assuming a scope of authority Congress has not authorized. The rule effectively eliminates any constraints the term “navigable” previously imposed on the Corps’ and EPA’s CWA jurisdiction, and the list of waters deemed “non-navigable” is exceptionally narrow — providing that few, if any waters, would fall outside federal control...more

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