Top farmer and rancher organizations representing our nation’s livestock and poultry producers shared a letter with U.S. Senators in support of the Grassley-Donnelly amendment, Amendment #1011, that would protect farmers and ranchers by prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from disclosing their private and confidential information to the public. Senators Grassley and Donnelly introduced the amendment following the EPA’s release of personal and private information in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by environmental advocacy organizations. Highly sensitive information including names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the farmers and ranchers, their spouses, and employees on these farms or ranches was made available to the public. While the EPA has attempted to correct the error, this amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 would provide an additional safety net to farmers and ranchers across the country. It would limit the EPA to disclosing information about farming operations only when all personally identifiable information is removed to prevent the identification of individual livestock and poultry producers and their families .
“It is unacceptable that the EPA released the personal contact information of over 80,000 livestock and poultry owners from across the nation, including many from Indiana. This blatant violation of privacy must not happen again,” said Donnelly. “I thank the many farmer and rancher organizations that support our effort, and I hope my colleagues will support our amendment when it comes up for a vote.”
Over 104 groups have signed onto the letter advocating for the passage of this amendment, including three Indiana organizations: Indiana Beef Cattle Association, Indiana Pork, and Indiana State Poultry Association. To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.