Time to Ditch The Rule

1 Oct

Note: The following is a column I wrote for our local paper, The Platte County Record Times, as part of my local Laramie Peak CattleWomen‘s monthly column.

Ditch the Rule | The Farm PaparazziDid you know that regulations can have big, often negative, impacts on your local farmers and ranchers? Platte County producers are well aware of this fact. As responsible stewards of the land and our livestock, we work hard to use the best environmental and animal care practices available. Yet, government agencies continue to weigh down our family farms and ranches with more and more burdensome regulations.

The most recent example is the proposed expansion of regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. Under the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) proposed rule, power will be given to the Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers to dictate land-use decisions and farming practices in or near puddles, ponds, ditches and more. The rule will make it more difficult to farm or change a farming operation to remain competitive and profitable.

On our farm, we take measures to properly use chemicals and healthy tillage practices. On my neighbors’ ranches I see them provide the best environment and care to their cattle, horses and other livestock. I see wildlife making their habitat among the fields and pastures of family farms and ranches. I visit with agriculture producers at conferences and meetings as we update our education with the latest, most scientifically-sound production practices. I watch as older generations pass on good values and ethics to their children and grandchildren. Farmers and ranchers in Platte County and across the United States work extremely hard to provide the world with safe, healthy and affordable food, fiber and by-products. We do this every day with environmental sustainability in mind, because we need the land to stay healthy for generations to come.

Ditch the Rule | The Farm Paparazzi

Under the EPA’s proposed rule, even temporary bodies of water like irrigation ditches and ponds will be heavily regulated. Please send your comments to EPA by Oct. 20th and tell them to stop their overreach!

Still, the federal government proposes what the American Farm Bureau Federation calls “a serious threat to farmers, ranchers and other landowners.” According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, almost all activities on open land will now touch a “water of the United States” under the expanded definition. Even the most temporary water sources, like irrigation ditches, would be regulated. The rule would require landowners to get the permission of the federal government anytime they needed to expand, do maintenance, or perform routine activities like driving a tractor through a pasture. Imagine if you had to get a permit every time you drove your car to work!

Many local, state and national groups within agriculture and beyond are calling on people to tell the EPA how detrimental this regulatory overreach will be. Many groups, including your local Laramie Peak CattleWomen and Laramie Peak Stockgrowers, believe the expansion of WOTUS language is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, the plain language of the Clean Water Act, and Congressional intent and is therefore illegal.

Whether you’re a landowner or not, please take time to submit comments to the EPA by the Oct. 20, 2014 deadline. Visit http://ditchtherule.fb.org/ or http://cqrcengage.com/beefusa/ to learn more and submit your comments today.

9 Responses to “Time to Ditch The Rule”

  1. Emily Grace October 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Dear Liz,

    I simply must reblog this. I usually ask permission, but today `twill be the forgiveness system I forge ahead with, for it’s almost lunch time and I have nothing prepared for going FarrrTHUR in agriculture at my site…nothing but a wish and a promise and several neglected ideas.

    Extremely thankful for your excellent content,
    Emily Grace via a state of procrastination.

    • thefarmpaparazzi October 3, 2014 at 3:32 am #

      I’m beyond thrilled and honored! Thanks so much! Can’t wait to go over and see it on Beef and Sweet Tea!

  2. Emily Grace October 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Reblogged this on Beef and Sweet Tea and commented:
    This week we’re going FarrrTHUR with Liz at FarmPaparazzi.com, so load up, we’re heading to Wyoming.

    Yesterday Liz shared a piece she wrote for her local newspaper. In it she highlights some farmer disturbing water issues that we’d like you to consider.

    Now, when I say “farmer disturbing” I don’t mean we’re too busy to be bothered, nor do I imply that we are above water quality considerations. No, not at all. Farmers are very generous with their time and rarely if ever make a decision without thinking about the future. Future decisions around here don’t mean what’s for supper tonight. No, we think in terms of the ability to grow your supper for generations to come. We are long term planners here.

    Have a look at Liz’ article. It’s short and informational – not agriculturally dramatic – and YOU can respond to the EPA at the end of her post.

    Thank you muchly!
    Emily Grace

  3. Bob October 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    Reblogged this on PATCO Blog It All… and commented:
    REGULATION-I am not a farmer and neither is the EPA

  4. countrylinked October 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Came to your blog after seeing Beef & Sweet Tea reblogged this post. Great job!

    • thefarmpaparazzi October 3, 2014 at 3:24 am #

      Thanks so much! I’m thrilled EG reblogged this. I appreciate your encouragement so much.

  5. Anne Wheaton October 3, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    I too have come via Beef & Sweet Tea. This is a great piece of writing. We farm in England and are also weighed down by sometimes meaningless regulations. This year has been catastrophic for oilseed rape crops, with many crops ripped up and redrilled because they’ve been destroyed by flea beetle. Neonicotinoid seed dressings were banned, which has led to increased spraying of other chemicals to try (unsuccessfully) to control the flea beetle. Two neonicotinoid sprays have now been approved, but too late for many crops. Farmers warned that this ban would lead to problems but politicians ignored them because they pander to the “wildlife” lobby. If only these people would take time to visit farms and see the diverse wildlife that we have. Sorry, rant over.

    • thefarmpaparazzi October 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Anne, Thanks so much for your encouraging words and for taking the time to visit my blog! I’m frustrated to hear the negative consequences of your politicians’ uninformed decisions. Unfortunately, it’s all too common. That’s why we have to continue to speak up! Less than 2% of the population in the US is involved in production agriculture so it takes every single one of our voices to make a difference. I know I’m preaching to the choir with you, Anne. Keep up the good work and can’t wait to learn more about your operation on your blog!

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