Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, was selected as the Environmental Protection Agency's new agriculture adviser. For nearly two decades, he has worked at the intersection of agriculture and environmental issues and is respected by agricultural stakeholders ranging from producers to agricultural commodity and environmental organizations.
Snyder will lead outreach and engagement efforts with the agricultural community for EPA, working to advance the Biden-Harris environmental agenda for farmers and rural communities.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan in a statement explains, “Rod brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about how environmental issues intersect with agricultural stakeholders and rural communities. It’s going to take all of us working together to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and build a sustainable future, and Rod is well-suited to bring our partners into the agency’s work and ensure agricultural stakeholders have a seat at the table.”
“I am honored to serve as EPA’s agriculture adviser as we forge practical, science-based solutions that protect the environment and ensure a vibrant and productive agricultural system,” says Snyder. “America’s farmers and ranchers are vital partners in achieving clean air and clear water, all while playing the critical role of delivering a healthy and secure food supply.”
Field to Market is the largest multi-stakeholder initiative working to advance the sustainability of commodity crop farming in the United States. EPA notes in Synder’s role as president, he forged science-based consensus among stakeholders across the food and agriculture value chain on issues such as climate change, water quality, biodiversity and pest management.
In a note on his departure, Synder says he’s “leaving Field to Market at a moment when the industry’s focus on climate and sustainability is at an all-time high. More companies are establishing climate and nature-based targets and beginning to invest in this work in new and creative ways.”
Synder adds, “I have never been more optimistic about the role that the agriculture supply chain can play in supporting the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future.”
Many agricultural commodity groups welcomed the nomination, especially as the EPA will have important decisions to make that could impact those in the ag sector.
American Farm Bureau Federation Zippy Duvall says there are several important issues facing agriculture that will require effective communication with EPA, including the new WOTUS rule, among other initiatives and regulations.
“As issues are deliberated within EPA, it is critical for the perspectives of farmers and ranchers to be represented and Rod will be that voice. Of course, it’s equally critical for EPA to engage directly with farmers and ranchers, and I’m also confident Rod will be a strong advocate for such engagement and collaboration, as he has demonstrated in several roles,” Duvall says.
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President Chuck Conner says Snyder is an outstanding choice for this position. “Rod comes into this role at a critical time, with a number of issues impacting farmers and ranchers being considered by the EPA. We look forward to working with him to make sure that agriculture’s positions are fully understood by those within the agency making these decisions,” Conner says.
National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Goule says he’s worked with Rod for many years in D.C. “He has extensive experience on agricultural policy issues and is known for working collaboratively across diverse interest groups,” Goule notes. “We hope to continue to work with Rod collaboratively on environmental policies that work for wheat growers and benefit rural America.”
“Rod’s two decades of experience working at the intersection of agriculture and environment is unparalleled and critical at this time in our history,” says Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union. “Climate change is the single greatest long-term challenge facing family farmers and ranchers, rural communities, and global food security. We applaud his appointment and look forward to working together.”
A statement from the National Pork Producers Council called him a “long-time friend of agriculture and the pork industry.”
NPPC President Jen Sorenson adds, “NPPC has worked with Rod over the years and commends his decades long dedication to protecting the environment and the livelihoods of America’s farmers. NPPC looks forward to engaging with him in this new role on issues of importance to U.S. pork producers as we continue to produce the highest-quality, most affordable and nutritious protein in the world.”
NPPC in June was one of 14 signatories on a letter to the EPA recommending Snyder for this appointment.
Prior to his time at Field to Market, Snyder worked for the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. As a longtime champion of agricultural solutions to climate change, he has previously organized farmer delegations to participate in UN Climate Summits in Paris and Copenhagen. In 2015, Snyder co-founded the Sustainable Agriculture Summit, which has grown to be the largest and most prominent annual sustainable agriculture conference in North America.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., welcomed the naming of the anticipated EPA ag adviser position. “The House Agriculture Committee and the broader agriculture community have been eagerly awaiting this announcement. I know that he will be a valuable member of the administrator’s senior leadership team,” says Scott.
“Rod’s work on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers is well known, as is his passion for ensuring racial justice, equity and inclusion in agriculture, and I know that he will continue to be a voice for all agricultural producers and rural communities,” adds Scott. “This will be especially true as the administration looks to address climate change impacts on rural America and the role that agriculture and forestry can play in renewable energy, biofuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Snyder holds a B.A. in Political Science from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He resides on his family farm in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia.