Notable Speakers Address Industry Challenges

May 24, 2018

Two senators and high-ranking representatives from the EPA, FDA and USDA spoke about key issues.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt discussed CERCLA-EPCRA reporting and other issues in an informal question-and-answer session, facilitated by UEP President Chad Gregory.  Pruitt answered questions about the new Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule which is expected to be proposed by the end of June and finalized this year.  Other topics covered were the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study and Worker Protection Standards involving pesticide use.  Pruitt also discussed regulatory reform and the need for a commonsense approach that is efficient and practical for both the EPA and farmers.

The ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee,Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, spoke about working on the Farm Bill with Committee Chair, Senator Pat Roberts.  Stabenow emphasized the importance of bi-partisan cooperation and believes a successful 2018 Farm Bill will be completed soon.  UEP members from Michigan met with Senator Stabenow prior to her speech to discuss key industry issues.

(L to R) Roger Seger, Josh Crabb, Senator Donnelly, Bob Krouse, Sam Krouse, Dan Krouse, Brad Brown, Josh VanDusen, Steve Herbruck

Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of the largest egg producing states, joined UEP members for a reception on May 16.  Senator Donnelly, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, expressed strong support for egg farmers and optimism that the Senate would act on a Farm Bill this year.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, spoke about the recent romaine and egg recalls and presented historical data on the positive impact of the Egg Safety Rule over the last 15 years.  Citing recent outbreaks caused by non-Enteritidis serotypes, Dr. Ostroff stated measures in the Egg Safety Rule would likely also control other Salmonella. Other areas covered by Dr. Ostroff included the shift to using the culture-independent diagnostic test (CIDT), FDA Inspections, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules that potentially may be applicable to egg producers and packing houses.

USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach discussed the animal health initiatives supported by UEP, including funds for pest prevention.  Undersecretary Ibach stated the USDA recognizes agriculture’s dependence on global markets and that regulatory reform is a priority of President Trump.