The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its National Strategy for Agriculture to initiate a closer partnership with agriculture in fulfilling the agency's mission of protecting human health and the environment.
"President Bush understands that agriculture is a vital part of our nation's economy and a vital partner in protecting our nation's environment," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "By working together on our shared challenges, EPA and the farming community can do what's good for agriculture, good for our environment, and good for the American people."
EPA intends to use communication, collaboration and innovation to strengthen its relationship with the agricultural community. The agency considers agriculture a producer of solutions to environmental problems.
EPA looks to positive engagement with the industry, going beyond the traditional regulatory approaches. The new plan builds upon farmers' natural interest in protecting natural resources and the environment, and it seeks to address complex issues through locally-based, collaborative efforts.
The goals of the National Strategy for Agriculture include:
• Increasing EPA employee awareness of how their actions affect agriculture and how farming benefits human health and the environment;
• Working with the agricultural industry – including production, processing and distribution – in developing and demonstrating environmental protection solutions that express to the public the value of farmland environmental stewardship activities;
• Coordinating research and technology development and real world application so the needs of agriculture and EPA can be more efficiently met; and,
• Identifying existing environmental improvement measures for agriculture and developing new ones, where needed.
More information on the National Strategy for Agriculture: epa.gov/agriculture/agstrategy.html