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EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

By Gene Hall

Some agencies of the federal government have learned that a “carrot and stick” approach often works. Proposed changes in the Clean Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amount to “stick and bigger stick.”

Sometimes you see the “carrot” in enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. Things like Safe Harbor and habitat mitigation mean having a species does not force landowners out of business. Then, other things become possible.

The EPA will move forward with a vast expansion of the agency’s regulatory power with changes in the Clean Water Act. Perhaps as an olive branch, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced the withdrawal of their waters of the U.S. “interpretive rule.”

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Time to step up political activism

Time to step up political activism

By Russell Boening

Texas Farm Bureau President

It is my great honor to be selected president of Texas Farm Bureau by the voting delegates at our Corpus Christi convention. As that all sinks in, I’m eager to get started. We have a big job ahead, and there are many challenges.

To start with, it’s a legislative year. As a farmer, I know about taking care of the land and preparing the ground for a new crop. In only a few days, our elected representatives will return to Austin. That in itself is challenging, and we have to be ready. We will study the issues and develop relationships with state officials. Many of them have never been part of state government before. Others are now in a completely different role.

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Texas farmer advocates for ag

Texas farmer advocates for ag

By Julie Tomascik

Turkeys, cows, kids and community activities. It’s a full load, but nothing Darrell Glaser can’t handle.

In fact, he prefers it that way.

His farm isn’t an 8-5 job with vacation and holidays. But it’s a family business he’s proud to be a part of. And a job he takes seriously.

Agriculture is in his blood. He has a master’s degree but chose to come back home to the family farm. He’s putting his college degrees to work, though, raising healthy turkeys and beef for you and me.

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Time to bury the death tax

Time to bury the death tax

By Mike Barnett

I always heard that the only thing sure in life is death and taxes and you can be assured your estate will be taxed to death if it’s big enough when you die.

That’s why a headline in a recent American Farm Bureau Federation news release caught my attention. It noted that estate taxes are ripe for repeal with 218 co-sponsors—more than half of the House of Representatives—on board for legislation to permanently repeal the estate tax.

Not only would Texas Congressman Kevin Brady’s Death Tax Repeal Act, HR 2429, repeal estate taxes, it would maintain stepped-up basis.

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Let’s have an open dialogue

Let’s have an open dialogue

By Lee and Jennifer Brown

On a recent trip to SeaWorld in San Antonio, my family and I witnessed a display of protest against the company for its practices. Those protestors claimed SeaWorld used practices that are cruel to the animals they house.

But what about all of the animals they save? If they hadn’t been rescued by SeaWorld, they probably wouldn’t have survived in a wild habitat.

A couple of years ago on a Texas Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Fall Tour, we had the opportunity to take a “behind the scenes” tour of the San Antonio facility. We saw the tanks they use for rehabilitation and performance shows. It was pretty amazing.

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