EPA announces members of ag, rural communities advisory committee

Source: By U.S. EPA • Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2022

On Nov. 16, U.S. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the appointment of 20 members, including the new committee chair and committee vice-chair to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC), which provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on a range of environmental issues that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

Beth Sauerhaft from American Farmland Trust and Raymon Shange from Tuskegee University will lead the FRRCC, which includes 20 newly appointed members who will join 17 existing members of the committee. Committee members include representatives from academia, industry (e.g., agriculture and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments.

“As EPA Administrator, I am deeply committed to ensuring that agricultural and rural communities have a seat at the table as we work together to identify practical, science-based solutions that protect the environment and ensure a vibrant and productive food system,” said Administrator Regan. “The appointees announced today and our existing FRRCC members will provide invaluable insight and feedback on EPA’s programs as we partner with farmers and ranchers to address the impacts of the climate crisis.”

Earlier this year, Administrator Regan issued a new charge topic for the FRRCC to evaluate the Agency’s policies and programs at the intersection of agriculture and climate change. The committee will consider how EPA’s tools and programs can best advance the agriculture sector’s climate mitigation and adaptation goals, ensuring EPA can best support farmers and ranchers in their efforts to reduce emissions and accelerate a more resilient food and agriculture system.

EPA issued a request for nominations to the FRRCC in the spring of 2022 and received more than 85 applications. EPA selected new and returning members from a pool of highly qualified candidates to represent a variety of agricultural sectors, rural stakeholders, diverse geographies and whose backgrounds include extensive experience with EPA priority issues, including climate change. FRRCC members represent all 10 EPA regions and hail from 24 states.

New Members

•Brad Bray, Bray Farms, Cameron, MO

•Eddie Crandell Sr., Lake County California Supervisor, Lucerne, CA

•Jennifer James, J&J Land Company and Auvergne Grain Company, Newport, AR

•Sarah Lucas, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Marquette, MI

•Jeanne Merrill, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Alameda, CA

•Clay Pope, Pope Hilltop Farm/National Association of Wheat Growers, Loyal, OK

•James Pritchett, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

•Nithya Rajan Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

•Lindsay Reames, Virginia & Maryland Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Amelia, VA

•Raymon Shange, Ph.D., Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL (Committee Vice Chair)

•Jennifer Simmelink, Kansas Soil Health Alliance, Esbon, KS

•Chantel Simpson, Ph.D., North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC

•Ryan Smith, Danone North America, Chicago, IL

Returning Members

•Emily M. Broad Leib, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, Cambridge, MA

•William (Bill) Couser, Couser Cattle Company, Nevada, IA

•David Graybill, Red Sunset Farm, Mifflintown, PA

•Lauren C. Lurkins, Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington, IL

•Christopher L. Pettit, Washington State Conservation Commission, Lacey, WA

•William R. Pracht, East Kansas Agri-Energy, Westphalia, KS

•Graciela I. Ramírez-Toro, Ph. D., Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Germán, PR

Existing Members

•Barry Berg, East Dakota Water Development District, Dell Rapids, SD

•Don Brown, Anchor Three Farm, Inc., Yuma, CO

•James (Jamie) Burr, Tyson Foods, Farmington, AR

•Phillip H. Chavez, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, Rocky Ford, CO

•John R. H. Collison, Oklahoma Rural Association, Edmond, OK

•Michael Crowder, National Association of Conservation District, West Richland, WA

•Matthew Freund, Freund’s Farm/Cowpots LLC, East Canaan, CT

•Sharon Furches, Furches Farms Partnership/Kentucky Farm Bureau, Louisville, KY

•Jeffrey Gore Ph.D., Mississippi State University/ Delta Research and Extension Center, Stoneville, MS

•Alex P. Johns, Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc., Okeechobee, FL

•Nicholas McCarthy, Central Valley Ag Cooperative, York, NE

•William Thomas (Tom) McDonald, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, Dalhart, TX

•Charles R. Santerre Ph.D., Clemson University, Clemson, SC

•Beth C. Sauerhaft Ph.D., American Farmland Trust, Chappaqua, NY (Committee Chair)

•Stacy Wayne Smith, Smith Farms, Wilson, TX

•Jeff M. Witte, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Las Cruces, NM

•Amy V. C. Wolfe, AgSafe, Escalon, CA

View the full list of FRRCC members and read additional information about the committee.

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