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WOTUS Guidance Would Result in Continued Confusion, Chaos

WASHINGTON, D.C., - If federal agencies are left the task of developing implementation guidance for the Waters of the U.S. rule, the result will be a continuation of the rule's "liabilities, confusion and chaos." Issuing guidance can't fix a broken rule, according to a letter the American Farm Bureau Federation and other farm groups sent to members of the Senate who voted to oppose bipartisan legislation (S. 1140) seeking to revise the rule.

The groups encouraged the Senators to support any new effort in the Senate "to direct the agencies not to implement this rule and initiate a new, more responsible, balanced and lawful rulemaking."

According to the letter, if the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are allowed to issue guidance for the implementation of the WOTUS rule, such guidance will be of no assistance to address the rules flaws, since many stem directly from the language used by the agencies in the final rule.

Farm Bureau Asks Supreme Court to Stop EPA Abuse of Clean Water Act Powers

WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of agricultural and builder groups today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to micromanage local land use and development decisions under the guise of implementing the federal Clean Water Act. The lower court’s ruling, according to the petition, “opens the door for a dramatic expansion of federal power” and must be overturned.

The lawsuit arose in the context of EPA’s so-called “blueprint” for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, but Farm Bureau points out that the issue at stake is national in scope.

‘Bringing Biotechnology to Life’ Classroom Resource Launched at World Food Prize Symposium

DES MOINES, IOWA — The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the International Food Information Council Foundation announced the global launch of “Bringing Biotechnology to Life,” a free educational resource that aims to facilitate learning about agricultural biotechnology and its role in food production. The new curriculum was unveiled at the World Food Prize 2015 Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.

“‘Bringing Biotechnology to Life’ is a science-based classroom resource with applicable lessons related to agriculture,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. “This resource is fact- and research-based and has been reviewed by an array of scientists, so the science behind it is very sound.”

“Many consumers do not understand the impact biotechnology makes on agriculture and our lives,” Tesch said. “Our goal is to have this resource provide students with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the practical uses of biotechnology.

Court halts WOTUS rule enforcement

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today ordered the EPA to stop enforcement nationwide of the Waters of the United States rule. In doing so, the Cincinnati-based court recognized that this rule has serious flaws and cannot go forward until the courts have had an opportunity to understand its effect on farmers, ranchers and landowners of all kinds, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement.

“The judges expressed deep concerns over the basic legality of this rule. We’re not in the least surprised: This is the worst EPA order we have seen since the agency was established more than 40 years ago. The court clearly understood our arguments,” Stallman said.

Poll Shows Broad Support for Endangered Species Act Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C.,  – Most Americans think the Endangered Species Act is outdated and needs to be revised, a survey by Morning Consult shows. The poll conducted in early August adds impetus to congressional efforts to overhaul the increasingly outdated 1970s-era statute.

The survey shows:

·       63 percent of Americans support modernizing the ESA;

·       62 of Americans believe the act should help with species recovery, as opposed to merely cataloguing changes in their populations;

·       69 percent of Americans want the federal government to offer resources to third parties to help species recovery; and

·       49 percent of Americans believe that state or local authorities, rather than the federal government, lead in recovery of endangered and threatened species. Only 31 percent of Americans favor the federal government taking the lead.

Local efforts save sage grouse from ESA listing

AFBF - Due to the success of state and local conservation efforts, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced today its decision not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. The American Farm Bureau is a strong supporter of meaningful recovery efforts and counts today’s decision as a testament to the great strides states and landowners can make when they work cooperatively to develop effective wildlife management plans.

“Conservation plans developed at the state and local levels provide the greatest opportunity for species success, and we believe today’s decision endorses that approach,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Farmers and ranchers last year called on the federal government to allow time for these plans to work, and now we’re seeing positive results and real success with the birds’ populations across the Western states. State, local and industry partners have accomplished in just a few years a level of success largely unseen through 42 years of federal Endangered Species Act implementation.”

'All About Beef' App Features Two New Games

WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture released a new educational app, "All About Beef," funded in part by the Beef Checkoff.

App versions of "The Steaks are High " and "Grocery Grab" are STEM-based games funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and geared toward students in grades 3-5. In addition to teaching nutrition and environmental facts, the apps also feature kid-friendly beef recipes.

The My American Farm games, including "The Steaks are High" and "Grocery Grab" are available on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPad, at Google Play for Android devices, on Amazon for the Kindle Fire and on www.MyAmericanFarm.org.

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Injunction Against EPA Water Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2015 – “Last night Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court of North Dakota issued an order to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule in its tracks. He found strong evidence that the EPA was arbitrary and capricious in its rulemaking. He saw no connection between key provisions of the rule and science that was presented to support it. Based on evidence presented so far, he ordered that the rule be stopped while the litigation continues to a conclusion.

“We applaud the court’s decision. The so-called Clean Water Rule is yet another example of EPA’s reckless and unlawful behavior in the face of science, economics and the law. Whether you’re a farmer, a rancher, a homebuilder or landowner of any stripe, the evidence is clear: This rule simply has to be stopped.

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