Bill Introduced to Protect Farmer Identities, Disaster Relief Available
- A fairly important little piece of agricultural news as legislation was recently co-sponsored to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from releasing personal data on livestock producers to the public.
The bill responds to an incident last year in which the EPA released personal data including names, telephone numbers and email addresses on a number of agricultural operations when responding to a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
House Resolution 4157, the Farmer Identity Protection Act, would prohibit the EPA from releasing such data when complying with FOIA requests.
- A recent public service announcement had the administrator of the USDA's Farm service agency, Juan Garcia, telling livestock producers that disasters such as droughts and storms fires and unexpected freezes have caused serious economic hardships.
Garcia said thanks to the new farm bill, the FSA is now able to offer livestock disaster assistance in order to help ranchers.