Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: House Farm Bill Ensures Review of EPA Regs on Farmers & Ranchers
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Rodney Davis discusses a key regulatory relief measure that is contained in H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. The measure, which Rep. Davis sponsored and introduced during the House Agriculture Committee markup of FARRM, would ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reviews the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulatory proposals that could negatively impact farmers and ranchers. The House Agriculture Committee approved FARRM in a strong 36-10 vote. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill this month.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"Hi, I'm Rodney Davis, from the thirteenth district of Illinois.
"The agriculture community knows firsthand about the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory overreach. You all remember the proposal where the agency attempted to treat milk spills like oil spills and regulate farm dust.
"So to prevent future regulatory attacks by the EPA, we need to ensure that agriculture has a seat at the decision-making table.
"The USDA has expertise and relationships within the farm community and has a true understanding of the impact of EPA's proposed regulations, so it's time these two agencies communicate and work together.
"I've introduced an amendment to the House Farm Bill that outlines a process for USDA to be involved in EPA regulations that affect agriculture. USDA will give notice of their involvement, meet with outside agriculture entities that are affected, and inform the EPA how its proposed regulations will impact the agriculture community.
"This amendment takes a comprehensive, hands-on approach to regulations from the EPA that affect agriculture - something that is long overdue. Let's make sure that proposals from the EPA in Washington are properly vetted and understood before they negatively affect American farmers."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.