EPA is announcing the selection of 30 citizens to serve on the Agency's first-ever Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee, three of whom live in Region 7.
"EPA has chosen three farmers from Iowa and Missouri for this important committee," said John B. Askew, Region 7 administrator. "As a farmer myself, I see the real value of this committee to EPA. The committee members will assist EPA on environmental policy issues impacting farms, ranches, and rural communities."
The committee is an important part of EPA’s ongoing effort to strengthen relationships with the agriculture community. The first meeting of the committee will be March 13 and 14 at The Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Those selected from Iowa and Missouri are: James O. Andrew, Jefferson, Iowa; Christine Chinn, Clarence, Mo.; and Dave Nelson, Belmond, Iowa. Members were selected from a pool of more than 200 applicants generated from a request for nominations published Nov. 15, 2007, in the Federal Register.
Initially, EPA will ask the committee to focus on the following three issues:
• How EPA's policies and regulations on climate change and renewable energy will affect the agriculture community. The agricultural industry – through the development of renewable energy sources – can play a significant role in the nation's ability to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and its dependence on oil imports.
• An environmental strategy for managing waste from livestock operations that considers regulatory and voluntary approaches, and provides tools for producers to attain superior environmental performance.
• Development of a constructive approach to advancing sustainable agriculture, protecting the environment, and addressing communication between environmental and agricultural interests.
Askew concluded, "My goal has been to develop strong working relationships with the agriculture community and establish partnerships to find common-sense solutions to our environmental challenges. I look forward to working with the committee members to find solutions that are good for agriculture, good for the environment, and good for the economy."