Wyo agriculture industry groups prepare to promote priorities during 2017
The Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) and Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) are all actively working during the new year on a variety of priorities that impact their members around the state.
While each organization has individual priorities and goals, each is also looking to the national level for an indication of what 2017 looks like following President-elect Donald’s Trump inauguration.
Around the state, WSGA, WyFB, WACD and others continue to advocate for their members.
For 2017, WyFB will continue to work to protect private property rights.
“We always strive to keep and protect our member’s private property rights,” says Brett Moline of WyFB.
As part of that, Moline notes that WyFB will watch the actions of the Trump Administration carefully.
“We don’t know what this Administration is going to do with things like the Clean Water Act or other rules and regulations,” he says. “We’re excited about some of the appointments we’ve seen so far, but there are a lot of questions still.”
WACD’s Bobbie Frank says that WACD hopes to take advantage of the opportunities that may be presented as a result of changes at the federal level.
“We’ll continue our water quality work this year, too,” she says. “We received approval for 319 funding, so we’ll work on publishing another Watershed Progress Report. Those are pretty involved, and it will be a big task.”
While WACD is a non-partisan group, Frank notes that the end of an election cycle is a relief.
“One other thing that is a concern is the final technical report by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey, so we’ll be going through that,” she says. “We’ll also provide outreach and training for our districts related to BLM rules, if those stay in place.”
Kennedy represents several ag organizations, including the Wyoming Ag Business Association and Wyoming Wheat Growers, and he notes that the upcoming year is a busy one.
“Across all the groups I work with, our top goal is to improve economic conditions for producers and their suppliers,” he says. “We also will work to roll back rules implemented in the past year.”
Over the last year, Kennedy marks rules regarding certification and training of pesticide applicators, EPA’s risk management program and the portion of Worker Protection Standards that go into effect in January 2018 as a subset of those that they will work on.
“We also hope to maintain or increase research funding through ag experiment stations and University of Wyoming Extension,” he adds.
WSGA looks forward to addressing issues on a national level and addressing some of the regulatory challenges that have occurred over the last year.
“We’re hoping to get some action on a lot of the things that have really been causing problems for us in the last few years,” Jim Magagna of WSGA says. “There are a number of regulatory problems, like Waters of the U.S., getting wolves and grizzly bears delisted, reforming the Endangered Species Act, stopping BLM’s new planning rule and making modifications to the Forest Service planning rule.”
Magagna also cites issues like transportation and electronic log books, labor issues in the overtime rules and H-2A program and others.
“There’s no shortage of issues,” he says. “To start with, it’s a matter of building relationships with new people coming into Washington, D.C. It’s a fresh start.”
Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.