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Farm Bureau president vows to fight EPA regulation

DANIEL LOOKER 01/09/2011 @ 10:23am Business Editor

Speaking to the 92nd annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Atlanta, Georgia Sunday, the group’s president Bob Stallman vowed to fight overregulation.

He announced that Farm Bureau is going to court to block an EPA plan to limit fertilizer and livestock waste runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. The lawsuite, Stallman said, “is essentially to preserve the power of the states, not the EPA, to regulate farm production.”

Voluntary conservation efforts are already making progress in cleaning up the bay, Stallman said.

Preserving the rights of farmers to decide how they run their businesses is just one of the group’s goals for 2011. Stallman said that Farm Bureau is also stepping up its efforts to reach consumers to counter the work of “a handful of self-appointed food elitists who are trying to divide us.”

Farm Bureau is one of 23 farm organizations and commodity groups that have formed the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance to better communicate how the nation’s food system works.

Stallman also urged delegates to the convention to decide what kind of farm policy they will support when Congress writes the next farm bill in an austere fiscal environment.

Stallman predicted that the next farm bill will be a challenge, a view supported when Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss welcomed the group to Atlanta.

“This is going to be the most difficult farm bill that we’ve ever had to write,” Chambliss said, “but the good news is that when we look at agriculture today, it’s as healthy as it’s been in my lifetime.” 

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