Mar 6, 2024
EPA seeks to strengthen ag, rural community relationships

The EPA is establishing an office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities.

The Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is designed to improve “environmental stewardship and economic opportunity for America’s farmers and ranchers, as well as strengthening the vitality of small towns and rural communities,” according to a news release from the agency.

EPA-logoFarmers and ranchers are crucial partners as we work together to deliver clean air, clear water and climate solutions, all while playing the critical role of ensuring an abundant fiber, fuel and food supply,” Michael S. Regan, EPA administrator, said in the release. “With the launch of this new office, we are ensuring agricultural and rural stakeholders will continue to have a seat at the table for many years to come.”

Regan announced the new office at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, the largest farmer-led annual convention in the country. He is the first EPA administrator to attend the event, according to the release.

The Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, Regan’s senior advisor for agriculture since October 2021. The office will expand on the work of the ag advisor and increase coordination with the agriculture policy advisors in the 10 EPA regional offices across the country.

In coordination with EPA’s program offices and regions, the office will forge practical, science-based solutions that protect the environment while ensuring a vibrant and productive agricultural system, according to the release. In support of the Rural Partners Network, the new office will also collaborate with small, underserved towns and rural communities that are seeking federal investments in infrastructure upgrades and other community improvement opportunities.

Additionally, the new office will facilitate closer coordination with relevant federal and state partners such as the USDA, Food and Drug Administration and state departments of agriculture. The office will also house EPA’s existing Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee, which provides independent policy recommendations on a range of policies that affect agriculture and rural communities.

Visit the Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website for more information.


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