Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
For Immediate Release: March 23, 2018
(Washington D.C.) – A group of 10 farmers, who are Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) members, recently met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt and representatives of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation during a three-day advocacy visit to Washington D.C.
The farmers discussed a variety of topics, including the 2018 Farm Bill, Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy industry, agriculture labor reform and international trade. PFB members also traveled to the Canadian Embassy, where they discussed trade issues with an official from Canada, who along with the United States and Mexico, are continuing to participate in negotiations involving the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
During a meeting with the EPA Administrator, Farm Bureau members were encouraged to hear that Mr. Pruitt views agriculture as a partner in helping to improve the environment and that he wants farmers to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made about responsible regulations. Farmers have been especially pleased with Pruitt’s support for withdrawing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in favor of creating a rule that includes input from all stakeholders to improve waterways without pushing farmers out of business. Other topics included worker safety standards, CERCLA and the Renewable Fuel Standard program.
Specifically, the group of farmers met with Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, along with Congressmen Lou Barletta, Tom Marino, Patrick Meehan and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson. They also visited with legislative staff from the offices of Representatives Ryan Costello, Dwight Evans, Mike Kelly and Keith Rothfus.
“It’s critically important for farmers to meet with policymakers in Washington D.C., so they can gain a better understanding of the issues affecting food production, the environment and the national economy,” said PFB President Rick Ebert. “Our farmers are discussing issues and promoting policies that will reduce or eliminate obstacles that threaten their livelihood and actions that could hinder the ability of the next generation to work on the family farm.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 62,000 member families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.
Editor’s note: Farmers participating in the trip included Jodi Calkins of Bradford County, Robert Craft of Mercer County, Tim Crouse of Lebanon County, Paul Hartman of Berks County, Dale Hoffman of Potter County, Tim Lesher of Northumberland County, Shawn Saylor of Somerset County, Arland Schantz of Lehigh County, Lisa Wherry of Washington County and Marty Yahner of Cambria County.