Alongside U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R., Minn.), the Minnesota Farm Bureau, FFA students, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and EPA Region 5 administrator Kurt Thiede toured Don and Shaun Fiedler’s farm on Sept. 28 to learn about their operations and conservation practices. They also met with local producers to discuss opportunities for future partnership and best conservation practices.
“Acting as good stewards of our land is of the utmost importance to Minnesota’s farmers. That’s why I was happy to join EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at a farm in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District to see firsthand the important role local farmers play in preserving the environment and help announce a grant that will protect and empower our farmers as they continue this important work," Stauber said. "Agriculture is one of the top industries in our state, so I commend this Administration for working alongside myself and our farmers to address the issues that are most important to the agriculture community, and I look forward to seeing this important partnership continue into the future.”
Minnesota Farm Bureau vice president Dan Glessing said, “Minnesota Farm Bureau appreciates Administrator Wheeler spending time talking directly to farmers in Minnesota. From the [Renewable Fuel Standard] to clean water to crop protection tools, the work of EPA has a direct impact on Minnesota farmers and ranchers. We appreciate the Administrator’s commitment to transparency in science and talking to those directly impacted as decisions are made. We look forward to continuing these discussions.”
While at the farm in Stanchfield, Minn., Wheeler announced $642,546 to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture under a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) cooperative agreement to continue implementation of pesticide regulatory and enforcement programs for fiscal 2021.
Under the FIFRA cooperative agreement, Minnesota will protect agricultural workers, surface and ground water resources and endangered species from exposure to pesticides of concern by conducting pesticide use inspections, enforcement and compliance assistance; train and certify pesticide applicators; conducts education and outreach on pesticides use and regulations; implement pollinator protection activities; conduct surface water and groundwater monitoring for pesticides, and analyze pesticide residues.