The Interior bill provides funding for the EPA, the Department of Interior and related agencies. This bill passed the House and reduces the funding the president requested to these agencies by $1 billion.
The guest editorial by Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith links this funding reduction to EPA's lawlessness and states: this bill seeks to stop the assault on America’s farmers and ranchers.
We note this is the same language used by Senators Inhofe and Roberts when discussing EPA's role in funding the illegal lobbying campaign called "What's Upstream." We have every reason to believe that the outcry from farmers over this false, malicious attack on farmers, funded, "appreciated," and apparently supported by the EPA Region 10 officials, has contributed to the passage of this bill.
There is an important lesson here: we must continue to make our elected representatives, Democrat and Republican alike, of our serious concern -- even outrage -- over this anti-farm activity of EPA.
Larry Stap, Save Family Farming's president, was just featured as a Western Innovator in Capital Press, the West Coast agriculture newspaper. Part of that recognition was for his leadership in standing up for Washington's dairy farms through Save Family Farming.
Now Scientific American is featuring the fifth generation family farm in Lynden with its three robotic milkers. The prestigious science magazine boasts a global audience of nine million and not just anyone, but a highly educated and influential audience.
The article also highlighted the video on Twin Brook Farms that has reached approaching a half million on Facebook.
Dairy farms show continued improvement in reducing nitrates--and helps explain farmer anger over "What's Upstream"
Farmers across the state were very upset by the "What's Upstream" attack, including the billboards that said "Unregulated agriculture is putting our waterways at risk."
This news story from the Washington State Department of Agriculture and reported in Capital Press shows why the false attack made farmers so angry. Dairy farmers have been heavily regulated since the 1998 passage of the Dairy Nutrient Management Act. In addition to supporting enforcement funding in the legislature, many dairy farmers have gone beyond the regulations to help protect and improve water. The latest data shows it is working, and farmers are showing more commitment than ever to improve.
The chart below shows the improvement in nutrient management as seen in the number of acres "needing attention." Those needing attention are identified as having higher than 45 parts per million of nitrates.
The greatest improvement was in Eastern Washington which improved from about 12% of the over 100,000 acres of dairy cropland needing attention in 2014, to just over 3% in 2016. Whatcom County's dairy cropland acreage needing attention is at under 3% now compared to nearly 5% two years ago.
You may also note the decrease in dairy acreage over two years -- that is what so concerns farmers and farm supporters.
The use of taxpayer funding through the EPA to spread the lies, distortions and misinformation of the What's Upstream attack is hurting farmers. Pressure from out-of-state lawyers threatening lawsuits and pressuring for ever more unnecessary and expensive regulations are hurting farmers as well.
In the meantime, as the Department of Agriculture information shows, farmers continue to work hard to do farming right.
Save Family Farming
We're working to build public understanding of the environmental stewardship of our family farmers.