Nearly 5,000 of the nation’s farmers are gathered in San Diego for the annual convention of American Farm Bureau, and during his Sunday morning address President Bob Stallman went right to work identifying the work the largest farm group in the country needs to continue as they fight over-regulation.
“As damaging as the weather or economic winds can be, farmers’ and ranchers’ biggest challenges these days seem to come from their government. Over the past year, Farm Bureau members have come together like never before to fight the attempt to regulate nearly every drop of rainwater that falls. Under their Waters of the U.S. proposed rule, agencies want to sweep into federal jurisdiction, vast numbers of small, isolated wetlands, ponds and, yes, ditches.”
Following the address Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock said he is still concerned about the proposed Waters of the U.S. despite legislation passed by Congress recently that would prevent funding of that rule’s implementation.
“I don’t trust EPA to come out or revise their rules even with all the comments that they got,” he told HAT. “I really think it’s a critical issue and I still say it’s the biggest land grab by United States government in the history of this country. It’s not good for agriculture, it’s not good for the environment, and it’s sure not good for consumers.”
And he said Indiana members should still be vocal on the issue.
“Well I just think it’s critical every time they have the opportunity to visit with their legislators, even with their neighbors and the press back home in Indiana that they bring it up that we are opposed to the definition of navigable waters which I think all of us grew up thinking that’s a place where you can take a boat, a canoe, or a kayak. In the Corps of Engineers’ mind, or EPA’s mind, that could be a stream that is just as large as your little finger.”
In other Indiana convention news, Jeremy Barron advanced to the sweet 16 round of Young Farmer Discussion Meet competition and finds out Monday if he advances to the final four.