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Taming regulations? Start with EPA!

Environmental Protection AgencyBy Gene Hall

I was pleasantly surprised to read this week of President Obama’s executive order to review and possibly eliminate federal regulations that might do more harm than good. If the administration really wants to go after pointless, economy choking, job killing and foolish regulations, there is an obvious target—EPA.

Of course, the cynic in me suspects this is not much more than window dressing—part of the president’s desire to appear more centrist. I hope he’s genuinely trying to get to the middle, because that’s where the country is, impatiently waiting on its leaders.

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EPA Dust-Up: To exist is to regulate

Texas Farm Bureau: EPA dust regulations in Texas agriculture

By Gene Hall

In one of my favorite songs, Lee Greenwood sings of his heart “drifting down a dusty Dixie road.”  I’ve been down many of those roads. In fact, dust is an inescapable part of rural life.  I grew up at the end of one of those dusty roads.  When we worked cattle, we raised some dust. Same for when we baled hay. In other agricultural pursuits, of which I don’t have direct experience, dust is part of the deal.

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EPA wrong on proposed pesticide rule, if you get my drift

By Mike Barnett

Guess what? Fighting pests on the farm might become a lot harder.

Texas AgricultureThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to change the way you spray pesticides. Changing the rules to correct a wrong is right. Changing the rules just to change the rules, or to satisfy the agenda of an unrelated group, is wrong. The unintended consequences can be a killer.

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The “new mad prophet” of agriculture? I hope so…

By Mike Barnett

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Remember that famous line in the movie Network, the movie made in the 1970s starring Peter Finch as deranged news anchor Howard Beale? I’ll certainly never forget it.

I had a Network moment at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Seattle, where president Bob Stallman stood in front of over 4,000 Farm Bureau members from across the nation, and said, “To those who expect to just roll over America’s farm and ranch families, my only message is this: The circumstances have changed.”

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Five reasons you will pay more for food

Americans enjoy the most affordable and abundant food supply in the world.

By Mike Barnett

Americans enjoy the most affordable and abundant food supply in the world.  The price of food is cheap…for now. But that’s subject to change.

Here are five reasons why:

• The price of oil will go up. Remember last time that happened? The price of food shot up, too and is just now starting to come down. But don’t blame the cost of commodities. There’s only pennies worth of corn in a box of corn flakes. Transportation, packaging and processing costs rise with the cost of fuel. Next time the price of oil skyrockets, look for increases in the price of food. Solar, wind, nuclear and biofuels must continue to make advances to lessen this dependency on oil.

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