Farm, ranch, & Rural Communities Committee Takes on Nutrients

Through EPA’s Office of the Administrator, a FACA group has been convened to provide input and perspective on environmental issues of concern to the farming, ranching, and rural communities sector.  This group, the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee, has most recently been considering the issues and impacts surrounding nutrients and nutrients management.  The group is working to prepare a report that should be available in draft by the end of the year.  The report will examine nutrient issues from three critical perspectives – characteristics of the problem, generating potential solutions, and effective implementation – and offer recommendations on strategic directions that are based on realistic assessments of science, resources, and partnerships.

The group has identified several key research needs such as linking and aligning different assessment models; access to better and more accurate field data that can be broadly applied within the models; and understanding the interactions among nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment.  In the resource arena, the group coalesced around how to better link economics and environmental actions so that farmers/ranchers will have confidence in the recommended actions and activities.  The partnership aspect is focusing on effective roles for EPA – ranging from facilitating logistics and financial support to direct participation – as partners with the farm, ranch, and rural communities in addressing nutrient issues and on the efficacy of case studies to demonstrate both partnership successes and instances where partnerships could have helped to redirect frustrating efforts toward a more beneficial outcome.

You can learn more about this Committee and its efforts at