Yesterday EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson addressed the newly-appointed members of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) during their first official meeting since being appointed. The FRRCC is an independent committee, established by EPA in 2008, that advises the agency on a wide range of environmental issues of importance to agriculture and rural communities. EPA also announced the new committee members, who were appointed in May.

Administrator Jackson intends to engage American farmers and highlight opportunities for cooperation between the environmental and agricultural communities, according to EPA. Her speech follows EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe’s tour of Northern California farms last week, where he met with local farmers to see and discuss efforts from the agricultural sector to protect our nation’s natural resources.

“EPA is working to ensure that American farmers, ranchers and rural communities are more environmentally sustainable and economically resilient than ever before,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “America’s farmers have a broad impact on everything from daily food prices to widespread environmental impacts to emerging fuel technologies. We need them to be part of our decision making process, and this meeting is yet another step in our engagement with the agricultural community.”

The new FRRCC members include: Steven S. Balling, Ph.D. (Chair), Del Monte Foods; Michael W. Brubaker, Senate of Pennsylvania; Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund; Steve McNinch, Western Plains Energy; Bill Snapp, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County Commission; Robert T. Burns, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Omar J. Garza, Texas Mexico Border Coalition; Martha L. Noble, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Alice Ann Sorenson, Ph.D., American Farmland Trust; George J. Boggs, Whatcom Conservation District; Gabriela Chavarria, Ph.D., Natural Resources Defense Council; Lee McDaniel, Harford Soil Conservation District; David D. Petty, Iowa River Ranch; G. Douglas Young (Deputy Chair), Spruce Haven Farm and Research Center; A. Richard Bonanno, Ph.D.; University of Massachusetts, Lawrence E. Clark, Farm Pilot Project Coordination; Tom McDonald, JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding; Jennie S. Hughes Popp, Ph.D., University of Arkansas; Ray E. Vester, E & M Farms Partnership; Daniel A. Botts, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; James W. Ford, Square “O” Consulting; Janis McFarland, Ph.D., Syngenta Crop Protection; Larry D. Sanders, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University; Lori A. Berger, Ph.D., California Specialty Crops Council; Robert L. Carlson, North Dakota Farmers Union; Archilus L. Hart, North Carolina Department of Agriculture; Bill Northey, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; and Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield Foods.