Monday, December 29, 2008

How Will Agriculture Fare in the Next Four Years

EPA nominee to face important decisions related to agriculture

Farmers should take notice. Lisa Jackson, President-elect Barack Obama's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, is "not shy about enforcement and regulation."

That's the assessment of Peter Furey, executive director of the New Jersey Farm Bureau.
Jackson ran New Jersey's state environmental agency until recently becoming the governor's chief of staff. Before that, she was at the EPA for 16 years in Washington and New York. Under Obama, she would be part of a three-person team who will oversee environmental policy.

The others are Carol Browner, who directed the EPA under the Clinton administration and will oversee climate-change policy out of Obama's White House; and Nancy Sutley, a deputy Los Angeles mayor who will run the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Jackson pushed for new regulations on land use that affected farms, including restrictions near rivers. She grew up in New Orleans, has a master's degree in chemical engineering and knew little about farms when she took the state job. But Furey applauded her willingness to listen to business interests and said the Farm Bureau made headway with her by taking her on a farm tour. Read More

There is always a lot of uncertainty as to how regulations and policies may change when our country elects swears in a new President. In about three weeks, we will start finding out. Being involved in the political process isn’t fun for a lot of people in our industry, but it is a necessary evil. The world is run by those who show up and in today’s political climate, agriculture can’t afford to take a day off.

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