The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to protecting the Nation’s food, water, land and air for generations to come. These are goals that are important to American farmers, as well. This National Strategy for Agriculture sets forth a framework in which to accomplish these important goals by:
1) Increasing the awareness and understanding within EPA of agricultural impacts and benefits to human health and the environment and working across media in a more systems approach to environmental protection;
2) Working with the agricultural sector – including production, processing and distribution – in developing and demonstrating environmental protection solutions that express the value of farmland environmental stewardship activities to the public;
3) Coordinating research and technology development and transfer so the needs of agriculture and EPA can be more efficiently met; and,
4) Identifying existing environmental measures and developing new ones, where appropriate, to demonstrate environmental improvement related to agriculture.
EPA’s interaction with the agricultural sector will occur within the current programs and organizational structure of the Agency. Because agricultural operations tend to be multi-unit operations functioning as a system, their problems and solutions are often multi-media in nature. Our challenge will be to use existing authorities while crossing programmatic and organizational boundaries to help the industry address environmental protection concerns. A sampling of performance measures from the Agency’s Strategic Plan have been attached at the end of this document to demonstrate the role that agriculture can play in protecting the environment. Through this National Strategy for Agriculture, EPA will work in cooperation and collaboration with many stakeholders to encourage environmental protection solutions in agriculture.