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State Ag and Rural Leaders


  • What you need to know about Endangered Species Act and how to comment |

    The proposed Endangered Species Act Workplan regulations are complicated and could impact everything from spray drift to surface runoff.

     | Dec 09, 2022






    Farmers and commodity groups are being urged to file public comments with the Environmental Protection Agency on proposed changes to the agency’s Endangered Species Act Workplan, which will have significant impact on how pesticides are registered, labeled, and used in the United States.

    The proposed regulations are complicated and far reaching and could impact everything from spray drift to surface runoff.

    To increase awareness of the proposed regulations, Rod Gurganus, the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension agent in Beaufort County, hosted a Dec. 5 webinar where a rundown on the EPA Endangered Species Act Workplan was presented.

    In the webinar, Don Parker, vice-president of technical services with the National Cotton Council; and Rebeca Haynie, senior regulatory manager at Syngenta, provided background and details on EPA’s Endangered Species Act Workplan.

    Haynie noted that on Nov. 16 EPA published an update to its ESA Workplan which includes interim ecological mitigation and other pesticide label language. Haynie said EPA particularly welcomes comments on the feasibility of implementing these measures and how the agency should adjust measures to account for the risks and benefits of a pesticide.

    Public comments on the changes are due Jan. 30, 2023. Both H

    Post date: Wed, 01/04/2023 - 08:26
  • Healthcare Access in Rural Communities |

    Access to healthcare services is critical to good health, yet rural residents face a variety of access barriers. A 1993 National Academies report, Access to Healthcare in Americadefined access as “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes.” A 2014 RUPRI Health Panel report on rural healthcare access summarizes additional definitions of access with examples of measures that can be used to determine access.

    Ideally, residents should be able to conveniently and confidently access services such as primary care, dental care, behavioral health, emergency care, and public health services. In 2012, Healthy People 2020 identified that access to healthcare is important for:

    • Overall physical, social, and mental health status
    • Disease prevention
    • Detection, diagnosis, and treatment of illness
    • Quality of life
    • Avoiding preventable deaths
    • Life expectancy

    Rural residents often encounter barriers to healthcare that limit their ability to obtain the care they need. Access to healthcare implies that healthcare services are available and obtainable in a timely manner. Yet rural residents often encounter barriers to healthcare access. Even when an adequate supply of healthcare services exists in the community, there are other factors that may impede healthcare access. For instance, to have healthcare access, rural residents must also have:

    • Financial means to pay for services, such as health or dental insurance that is accepted by the provider
    • Means to reach and use services, such as transportation to services that may be located at a distance, and the ability to take paid time off of work to use such services
    • Confidence in their ability to communicate with healthcare providers, particularly if the patient is not fluent in English or has limited health literacy
    • Trust that they can use services without compromising privacy
    • Confidence that they will receive quality care

    This guide provides an overview of healthcare access in rural America, including discussion of the importance and benefits of healthcare access and the barriers that rural residents experience. The guide includes information regarding:

    • Barriers to care, including workforce shortages, health insurance status, transportation issues, health literacy, and stigma in rural communities
    • Access issues for specific populations and healthcare services
    • Strategies and resources to improve access

    For information on access to public health services in rural communities, see the Rural Public Health Agencies topic guide.

    Post date: Wed, 01/04/2023 - 08:24
  • New water rule creates more confusion for agriculture |

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers issued their final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on Dec. 30.

    The new water rule will replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule put in place during the Trump administration.

    Agricultural groups, including Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), are disappointed in the rule.

    “The rule does not provide the needed clarity and certainty that has been requested by Texas farmers and ranchers,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “In fact, the rule allows the federal government to expand its jurisdictional reach over private property. It is incredibly difficult for a farmer or rancher to understand if they have a jurisdictional feature on their property.”

    When the federal government expands its reach, the amount of permitting that farmers and ranchers are subject to gets worse.

    Post date: Wed, 01/04/2023 - 08:21
  • DOT rejects long-haul trucking exception for livestock drivers |

    The Transportation Department on Monday rejected a petition from agricultural groups to allow truckers hauling livestock to drive for longer stints.

    The department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said the exemption sought “would not achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption,” in a Federal Register notice set to be published Tuesday.

    Post date: Wed, 12/21/2022 - 13:34
  • Idaho agriculture kept growing in 2022 despite high input costs |

    Idaho farmers and ranchers brought in 28% more revenue for crops and livestock this year.

    “In 2022, we broke all time record highs – it's astronomical increases," said Garth Taylor, an associate professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Idaho. He presented the industry’s financial picture on Tuesday.

    Taylor said Idaho agriculture is growing faster than the industry nationwide. Most of the revenue increase is driven by good prices in the milk, cattle and potato sectors, he said, and more products being exported overseas.

    “We had a record foreign exports from the state of Idaho last year at $3.8 billion," he said.

    Food and agriculture make up about a third of the state’s total export dollars with dairy, potatoes and wheat as the top products sent abroad. Most of Idaho's agricultural exports go to Canada and Mexico.

    Post date: Wed, 12/21/2022 - 13:30

The State Ag and Rural Leaders group was formed as a 501 c(3) non-profit in 2006 at the 5th Annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit in Tempe, Arizona.
The first Legislative Ag Chairs Summit was in Dallas in 2002.

Ag and Rural Leaders

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators that are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, to provide and promote educational opportunities for state officials and others on technology, policy, processes and issues that are of concern to agrculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS produces the national agriculture and rural enewsletter - Ag Clips, webinars, white papers and the annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is managed by an elected board of state and provincial legislators.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.


Lack of Funding Threatens Food Systems

A new report finds stagnant public funding for ag research threatens the future of U.S. food systems.