Farmers Union president Roger Johnson paid a visit to Grange headquarters in Washington this week to see Grange president Ed Luttrell and Grange legislative director Burton Eller. The main topic of conversation was the WTO ruling against our Country of Origin (COOL) meat labeling regulations and how the U.S. might avoid serious economic trade sanctions resulting from the ruling. Johnson said his … [Read More...]
USDA Under Secretary Ed Avalos urged the National Grange to become involved in crafting a solution to the second adverse ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Avalos said Secretary Vilsack would welcome the Grange’s input. Under the WTO ruling, it’s not a question of whether the U.S. must change its stance on COOL but how such changes can prevent … [Read More...]
National Grange President Ed Luttrell and Legislative Director Burton Eller met October 21 in Washington, DC with National Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman and Public Policy Director Dale Moore. They discussed the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law and the regulations issued by USADA which were successfully challenged by Canada and … [Read More...]
Reaction to the EPA and Corps of Engineers proposal to expand regulatory jurisdiction to all waters of the U.S. is growing into a tsunami of resistance. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy sent a formal letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and the Corps Maj. Gen. John Peabody urging them to withdraw the proposed rule. The SBA Office of Advocacy says the proposed rule is in … [Read More...]
WASHINGTON, D.C -- The House of Representatives has passed H.R.5078 Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Act of 2014 with a bipartisan vote of 262-152. The legislation is an attempt to halt the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed "Waters of the United States" regulation. "The proposed WOTUS regulation by EPA and the Corps is a thinly veiled land … [Read More...]
- Agriculture, Interior Departments partner on water quality
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced a new partnership agreement today that will provide a clearer picture of the benefits of farmers’ conservation practices on the quality of our Nation’s water. Read more
- New Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Premium Subsidy Established
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced that a premium subsidy has been established to offer more affordable protection to eligible diversified farm operations, as part of the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance policy. Read more
- USDA Invests Nearly $118 Million to Support America’s Specialty Crop Producers
MIAMI, Fla, Oct. 2, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $118 million in grants to strengthen markets for specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. The grants were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill as part of an effort to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and provide resources to strengthen American agriculture. The Secretary made the announcement in Florida. Read more
- To Ensure the Best Outcomes for Rural Americans, Better Provisions Needed in Federal Broadband Plan
Today’s global economy demands that every participant have access to reliable, high-speed Internet in order to attain a level playing field to actively participate in the virtual business marketplace. Although rural America constitutes 15% of our total population, it is these men and women and families who keep food on our tables, fuel in our cars and provide energy for our homes and businesses. We owe it to them to implement the infrastructure to provide broadband internet services. Americans living in rural areas still lack access to this vital resource. Read more
The National Grange is working with America’s Electric Cooperatives to advocate against the EPA’s new rule. Tell EPA that its new rule on existing power plants will jeopardize the economy, cause energy prices to skyrocket, kill jobs and penalize low income Americans.
UPDATE: EPA Extends Comment Period for Coal-Fired Power Plant Rule
The EPA has extended the comment period for its proposed rule to limit power plant emissions from October 16 to December 1. Coal, at 39%, is the largest single source of electricity generation in the country. The electric utilities warn the rule will cause more than 600 generating plants to close before sufficient alternative power sources (natural gas, renewable energy, wind and solar) are capable of filling the void.
We urge our State Grange partners who have not already done so to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in opposition to the proposed rule which would essentially expand EPA and Corps of Engineers jurisdiction over all waters of the United States. Practically all farmers, ranchers, land owners, rural small businesses and rural homeowners will be affected should this regulation become final as proposed.
EPA has been given regulatory powers over navigable waterways by Congress. The proposed Waters of the U.S. regulations will give EPA and the Corps new jurisdiction over most rural lands and surface water in America. With such authority, the EPA and Corps would have the legal right to oversee land use and production practices all across the rural landscape. This is not necessary. All waters of the U.S. are not threatened, endangered or impaired. For those waters that are below current standards, EPA already has ample statutory authority to take action on a situation-by-situation basis. This proposal is increasingly bring viewed as a regulatory overreach by the executive branch of the federal government.
We urge you to file your State Grange comments by Friday, November 14. Please encourage all Pomona and Community Grangers to file comments as well. Ask EPA to withdraw the proposal. CLICK HERE for instructions about writing, addressing and filing (either by mail or email) comments.