Buckeye Farm News
EPA announces final renewable fuel standard rules
According to American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman, farmers and ranchers should be encouraged that the Environmental Protection Agency will keep the nation’s renewable fuel standards on a path toward greater independence. The EPA has plans to continue raising the volume of biofuels available for the nation’s transportation fuel supply. “We will be analyzing the rule in its entirety, but we are optimistic about the overall direction of support it offers renewable fuels,” Stallman said. “One area of continuing concern is the so-called measurement of indirect land use. Continuing to utilize indirect land use changes to calculate greenhouse gas emissions is unfair to domestic biofuels. Using it as a measurement of biofuels’ carbon impact is still highly controversial and scientifically unproven. We will continue our efforts with policymakers on both sides of the aisle and in the administration to assure that biofuels live up to their potential.”
New guidelines for National Animal Identification System
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a new approach to the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) to have a more flexible framework. The announcement comes after a USDA listening tour in which thousands of comments were gathered.
“I’ve decided to revise the prior policy and offer a new approach to animal disease traceability with changes that respond directly to the feedback we heard,” Vilsack said. Among the changes, NAIS would only apply to animals moved in interstate commerce and will be administered by the states and tribal nations to provide more flexibility.
Farm Bureau opposes EPA’s spray drift regulations
American Farm Bureau is concerned that farmers are being attacked by activist labor and environmental organizations that want to restrict the use of vital crop protection products used on many farms. The EPA is proposing the addition of a general spray drift statement to pesticide labels. The phrasing of the general drift statement, according to AFBF, is vague and unjustifiably broad and sets an unachievable zero drift standard which may leave farmers vulnerable to enforcement actions and frivolous lawsuits. Many state Farm Bureaus are filing comments expressing their opposition to this proposal.
The Ohio Livestock Coalition will hold its 13th Annual Meeting and Industry Symposium April 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Waldo. Speakers include David Martosko of the Center for Consumer Freedom and www.humanewatch.org, Tim Amlaw of the American Humane Association and Scott Higgins of the American Dairy Association Mid East. Cost to register is $35 before March 25. For more information, visit www.ohiolivestock.org or contact Amy Hurst at [email protected] or 614-246-8262.
Farm Bureau families raise record funds for America’s hungry
The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised more than $213,000 and donated more than 4.8 million pounds of food to hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of nearly 5.3 million meals through Feeding America-affiliated food banks.
The money raised last year was a record and broke the prior record of $160,000 in 2008. Farm Bureau’s Harvest for All program began in 2004, and the program has continued to build momentum since then.