Trump Ag Advisor: Administration Won’t Allow EPA Funded Attacks on Farmers

Don Jenkins reported late last month at the Capital Press Online that, “President Trump’s top agricultural adviser says the new administration won’t tolerate federal support for advocacy campaigns like What’s Upstream.

Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance, outlined the White House’s farm policy priorities in a speech March 21 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“‘This administration will not allow the EPA to give taxpayer dollars to activist groups who then turn around and put up billboards that attack our farmers and ranchers,’ said Starling, a former general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.”

The Capital Press article explained that, “Between 2011 and 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency financially supported What’s Upstream, which was organized by the Swinomish Indian Tribe and several environmental groups. They hoped to influence Washington state lawmakers to vote for stricter limits on farming near waterways.

“The campaign included a website, radio ads and a letter-writing campaign, but billboards in Olympia and Bellingham attracted the attention of federal lawmakers. The EPA withdrew its support soon after Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., called the billboards ‘disturbing‘ and ‘malicious.'”

Mr. Jenkins added that, “The tribe, funded by an EPA grant passed through the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, had a budget of some $655,000 for the campaign. The EPA’s inspector general has yet to release a congressionally requested audit into how the money was used.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.