Ag News

EPA launches Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Posted on Mar 14, 2024 at 10:22 AM


On March 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is establishing a new office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities.

“Farmers 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,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “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 creation of the new office alongside U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack during the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas, the largest farmer-led annual convention in the country. He is the first EPA Administrator in history to attend the seminal event.

The new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, who has served as Administrator Regan’s senior advisor for agriculture since October 2021. The new office will expand on the work of the Ag Advisor and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

“AFBF appreciates Administrator Michael Regan for creating a new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in EPA,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Mr. Regan recognizes the important role farmers and ranchers play in preserving the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with. We look forward to working with Rod Snyder as he directs the new office, and we encourage him to collaborate with families in rural America to ensure their voices are heard and they are treated as partners.”

In close 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. 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. 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 (FRRCC). The committee provides independent policy recommendations to Administrator Regan on a range of policies that impact agriculture and rural communities.

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

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