America’s young farmers and ranchers are speaking out on the devastating impact their new businesses will suffer under the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have proposed the change – and the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers committee outlined several concerns in formal comments submitted to the EPA this week. Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Chair Jake Carter said EPA keeps grasping for control over the nation’s farms and ranches. He called young farmers and ranchers the future of American agriculture and said they take their role of protecting the land seriously. This legislation puts up roadblocks without any improvement in water quality.
Young farmers and ranchers are especially vulnerable to increased farming costs. The normalfarming and ranching exemption in the Clean Water Act excludes farms and ranches that began operating after 1977. Farmers and ranchers with newer businesses will need permits for basic farming activities, including simply moving dirt.