Weather Alert

Keeping the EPA Off Our Land

Dear Friend,

I’ve been farming since I was old enough to walk. I’m certainly not alone, most farmers grow up farming. Most learn to drive a tractor long before they get behind the wheel of a truck and most learn from their parents and grandparents how to care for the land, grow crops, and raise livestock.

Today, despite what you hear the talking heads say on cable news, nearly every farm in America is family-owned and family-run. In Missouri, 95 percent of the 95,320 farms here are family farms. That’s important to understand because it provides a window into our way of life. See, even though I graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in agronomy, much of what I learned about farming and taking care of the land didn’t come from a classroom or a textbook. I learned it working alongside my father and grandfather—just like they did.

That’s why it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have stacked up next to your name, nobody knows better how to manage the land than the family that’s been farming it for generations. Unfortunately, it seems like some folks in Washington don’t get that. Instead, they’re dead set on trying to revive Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) overreach without stopping to take the time to listen to farmers and ranchers.

Rather than holding the traditional public roundtables all over the country to hear comments on their plan, the EPA and Corps of Engineers decided to limit input to a few virtual meetings with just 15 stakeholders nominated by outside groups and handpicked by the agencies. It’s clear their goal is to pave the way for Washington bureaucrats to control virtually every aspect of every farm in America.

Thankfully, Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins got a chance this week to let the EPA know how devastating gutting the sensible Navigable Waters Protection Rule and replacing it with Obama-era WOTUS overreach would be for family farms. His voice shouldn’t be alone, though.

I made a simple ask this week to fix this: extend the comment period and actually listen to what farmers and ranchers have to say. As I said in my letter to the EPA, “it is critical the Agencies implement a comprehensive process to solicit public feedback when initiating a new rulemaking process.”

It’s funny, we always hear liberal pundits talk about how much they love family farms when they’re bashing American agriculture, but a lot of what liberal politicians propose, from WOTUS to eliminating the stepped-up basis, seems designed to destroy family farms. If they care about protecting family farms, they should start listening to farmers, stop this WOTUS nonsense, and end their war on American agriculture.


Sam Graves

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