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Many Issues for Agriculture to Focus on in Washington

In her talk to the Joint Commodities Conference in Durham last week, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, Dana Peterson says that there are several things going on in Washington that farmers need to be aware of:

“Well, our main points are that the appropriations and budget process is going to captivate most of the attention in congress this year as we try to fix the tax issues and we try to make sure that the appropriations are keeping the government funded through the election. Also, looking at environmental regulation being a big hurdle as we move forward making sure that lawsuits don’t come forward to attack farmers in regulations where we have some vulnerability. And then also, we’re looking at the farm bill over the next year, we need something to happen with that before the 30th of September. So, we’ve got a full plate in Washington, and hopefully everyone will be coming back to town shortly and ready to get back to work.”

One particular issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible is the Environmental Protection Agency and what seems to be their endless stream of proposals that have the potential to hinder US agriculture:

“They do have to be addressed. And they are all being sourced from lawsuits are taking to our courts system to force the EPA to administer regulations that were never intended for agriculture. So, what we’re trying to do is raise the level of education within the agency and the officials there, and we’re trying to make congress understand how the legislation fits into how those regulations are impacted.”

Peterson says that as much as we hate to defend the EPA, it’s really not their fault that further regulation and rulemaking is coming out of the agency:

“They aren’t. They’re coming from our courts system. They stem from legislation that was passed in the 70’s and we need to go back and revisit those things.”

Peterson had these final thoughts for ag producers everywhere:

“Oh, there’s just a lot of hurdles in front of agriculture, and it’s important for all of our groups come together like the groups have here today, join forces and speak on behalf of farmers that grow multiple crops, not just one.”

NAWG CEO Dana Peterson at the 23rd Annual Joint Commodities Conference that took place in Durham last week. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.