National Agriculture Day … the Farm Bill … and Water

Tuesday was National Agriculture Day  Lets recognize and celebrate those that sustain and nourish us.    Let us also share ideas and resources for how the industry can sustain and steward our waters.

The Federal Farm Bill is a once every five-years (or so) opportunity to advance those ideas and resources into law.  Reimagine Appalachia and its partners developed a Farm Bill platform that will build a climate-strong agriculture sector for our region and a Farm Bill Action Toolkit of actions all of us can take this growing season.

Recently PennEnvironment, PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture and other partners had a webinar with Senator Casey to highlight the Farm Bill potential.  Check out this link for a recording of the event and the resources that were referenced:

Farm Bill Resources:
·         Information about increasing equity in the federal programs for farmers: Justice40 | Natural Resources Conservation Service (
·         Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Bills & Programs Senator Casey Mentioned:
·         2018 Farm Bill
·         Inflation Reduction Act – check out CVPA’s new Clean Energy Funding website to see how you can benefit from the IRA!
o    Provided $20 billion for USDA’s conservation programs
·         Bills he wants included in the farm bill
·         Helping small and midsize diversified farms:
·         Nutrition Programs

There remain very real issues with large scale agriculture that need attention now.  Environment America and the Great Lakes Coalition, among others, are requesting sign-ons for a short comment letter urging the EPA to adopt stronger pollution standards for slaughterhouse facilities. Given the impact of industrial agriculture pollution on water quality many of you may be interested.

Brief context/background:

  • Slaughterhouse/rendering facilities are top industrial dischargers of nutrient pollution.
  • After years of advocacy and litigation, EPA finally proposed updates to the Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) for Meat and Poultry Processing facilities for the first time since 2004.
  • Environment America is pressing EPA to finalize standards that would reduce slaughterhouse pollution by 322 million lbs per year–more than 3x what EPA states as its “preferred option.”
Here is the sign-on form and the comment letter text. Deadline for sign-on is this Friday, March 22.