Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of thirty-three members to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). Established in 2008, the FRRCC provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Included on the committee is Dr. Jeff Gore, Mississippi State University DREC Entomologist.

MFBF President Mike McCormick stated, “We are excited to have Dr. Gore in this important position.  Farm Bureau has a long-standing relationship with Dr. Gore, and we have utilized his expertise on numerous policy issues over the years.  He’s a leader among his peers, a tremendous asset to the farmers in Mississippi, and an expert that the Mississippi farm groups lean on quite a bit. We couldn’t be more happy with EPA’s selection of Dr. Gore.”

The committee had no current members at the time of solicitation; therefore, these 33 nominees will constitute a brand new committee, and will each serve two or three year terms beginning on June 15, 2020. The new members of the FRRCC hail from twenty-four states and one territory in all ten U.S. EPA Regions, with six of the Members working in multiple states or at a national capacity. The Committee expects to meet approximately twice a year beginning in late Summer of 2020.

The new FRRCC members and their affiliations are:

  • Michael J. Aerts – Minor Crop Farmer Alliance and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; Maitland, FL
  • Barry Berg – East Dakota Water Development District; Brookings, SD
  • Emily M. Broad Leib – Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic; Cambridge, MA
  • Don Brown – Anchor Three Farm, Inc. (Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture 2015-2019); Yuma, CO
  • Jamie Burr – Tyson Foods, Inc.; Farmington, AR
  • Phillip H. Chavez – Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, Diamond A Farms, Mohawk Valley Farms, Catlin Canal Company, and Lower Arkansas Valley Super Ditch; Rocky Ford, CO
  • John R. H. Collison – BlackOak Farms and Oklahoma Rural Association; Edmond, OK
  • William (Bill) Couser – Couser Cattle Company; Nevada, IA
  • Michael Crowder – National Association of Conservation Districts, Barker Ranch, and Benton Conservation District; West Richland, WA
  • Matthew Freund – Freund’s Farm and CowPots LLC; East Canaan, CT
  • Sharon Furches – Furches Farms Partnership and Kentucky Farm Bureau; Louisville, KY
  • Jeffrey Gore, Ph.D. – Mississippi State University – Delta Research and Extension Center; Stoneville, MS
  • David Graybill – Red Sunset Farm and Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Mifflintown, PA
  • Dennis Haugen – Dennis Haugen Farms, General Grain Cleaning Co., and North Dakota Grain Growers Association; Hannaford, ND
  • Alex P. Johns – Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc.; Okeechobee, FL
  • Jimmy W. Kinder – Kinder Farms and Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Walters, OK
  • Jeanette L. Lombardo – California Food and Agribusiness Advocates; Ventura, CA
  • Lauren C. Lurkins (Incoming Committee Vice Chair) – Illinois Farm Bureau; Bloomington, IL
  • Gary Mahany – Gary Mahany Farms; Arkport, NY
  • Nicholas McCarthy – Central Valley Ag Cooperative; York, NE
  • Jesse McCurry – Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association; Colwich, KS
  • William Thomas (Tom) McDonald (Incoming Committee Chair) – Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, LLC; Dalhart, TX
  • Jay Ivan Olsen – Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; Salt Lake City, UT
  • Christopher L. Pettit – Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Office of Agricultural Water Policy; Tallahassee, FL
  • William R. Pracht – Pracht Farms and East Kansas Agri-Energy; Garnett, KS
  • Graciela I. Ramírez-Toro, Ph.D. – Inter American University of Puerto Rico – Center for Environmental Education, Conservation and Research (CECIA); San Germán, PR
  • Charles R. Santerre, Ph.D. – Purdue University – Department of Nutrition Science; West Lafayette, IN
  • Beth C. Sauerhaft, Ph.D. – American Farmland Trust; Chappaqua, NY
  • Stacy Wayne Smith – S & A Smith Farms; New Home, TX
  • Davie Shane Stephens – DJ Stephens Farm and American Soybean Association; Wingo, KY
  • Secretary Jeff M. Witte – New Mexico Department of Agriculture; Las Cruces, NM
  • Amy Wolfe – AgSafe; Escalon, CA
  • James E.  Zook – Michigan Corn Growers Association and Corn Marketing Program of Michigan; Lansing, MI

For further information:

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) website:

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