Press Releases

Subcommittee Examines the Impacts of Environmental Regulations and Voluntary Conservation Solutions

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Washington, May 17, 2016 | comments

Today, Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, held a hearing to highlight the impacts of environmental regulation and voluntary conservation solutions. This is the fifth hearing in the Focus on the Farm Economy series, where each of the six subcommittees are tasked with examining the growing pressure in rural America from the perspective of the subcommittee. Members heard from two panels of witnesses, including farmers and ranchers who are utilizing voluntary, incentive-based programs to protect and preserve our natural resources, while also maintaining profitable production on their land.

“Today, we are once again reminded that locally-led, voluntary conservation practices work. Through assistance and incentive-based programs provided in the Farm Bill, our nation’s farmers and ranchers are voluntarily reducing soil erosion, increasing wetlands, improving water quality, and preserving farmland and wildlife habitats. However, some government agencies continue to implement over burdensome regulatory requirements, which create financial obstacles for our producers. It is important we continue to support common-sense legislation and voluntary practices that enable farmers and ranchers to continue preserving the health and vitality of our natural resources,” said Subcommittee Chairman Thompson.

“This administration has demonstrated time and time again how vastly disconnected it is to rural America. Government rules and regulations continue to negatively impact farmers and ranchers while they are already forced to operate on very thin and often negative profit margins. When a family’s livelihood depends on making their living off the land, there is an undeniable economic incentive to adopt practices that enhance long-term viability,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairman Glenn Thompson's opening statement and the archived webcast.

Witness List: 
Panel I 
Mr. Richard R. Ebert, President, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Blairsville, PA 

Ms. Kate English, Partner, English Family Partnership, Fort Myers, FL 

Mr. Patrick O'Toole, President, Family Farm Alliance, Savery, WY 

Panel II
Ms. Celia Gould, Director, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Boise, ID 

Mr. Lee McDaniel, President, National Association of Conservation Districts, Washington, DC 

Mr. Terry McClure, President, McClure Farms LLC, Grover Hill, OH 

Mr. Tom Buman, CEO, AGREN, Carroll, IA 
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