Barrasso and Miyamoto

Chairman Barrasso welcomes Director Miyamoto to the Senate EPW Committee.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Doug Miyamoto, director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture to the committee. Miyamoto was testifying before the committee at a hearing on Barrasso’s legislation, the Agriculture Creates Real Employment (ACRE) Act.

Barrasso introduced Miyamoto to the committee prior to his testimony.

“Doug has served as director for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture since 2015.

“In his role as director, Doug deals with issues that we will discuss here today on a daily basis: environmental reporting for Wyoming agriculture producers; predator management; liaising with federal agencies to coordinate environmental resource issues; and many other issues that arise when getting our agricultural products to the end consumer.

“Doug previously served as the executive director of the Wyoming Livestock Board, the deputy director for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and in several other positions at the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, and the University of Wyoming.

“Doug is uniquely qualified to speak to today’s issues, both from his professional experience and because he received the highest quality education from the University of Wyoming.

“He studied range management for his undergraduate degree and later earned a master’s in rangeland ecology.

“He serves Wyoming well by bringing his holistic approach to his leadership at the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, and I am pleased he could join us here today,” said Barrasso.

Miyamoto Testifies

Mr. Miyamoto testifies before the Senate EPW Committee.

Click here to watch Mr. Miyamoto’s testimony.

In his written testimony, Miyamoto detailed the many benefits the ACRE Act will have for ranchers and farmers in Wyoming. “There are ever-increasing regulatory demands on today’s family farms and ranches,” said Miyamoto. “The agriculture industry is vital for food production, national security, open spaces, wildlife habitat, as well as American customs and heritage.”

Miyamoto highlighted how the ACRE Act would help address burdensome regulatory demands. “Section six of the ACRE Act amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to eliminate duplicative permitting requirements and is important for not only agricultural producers but for pesticide applicators, state governments, and local governments,” Miyamoto said. “Section six of the ACRE Act maintains environmental protection while increasing governmental efficiency.”

The ACRE Act will also protect the privacy and safety of ranchers and farmers. “Section seven of the ACRE Act, which provides identity protection for farmers, is also important for Wyoming’s producers. The aggregate reporting proposed by section seven of the ACRE Act provides the necessary level of specificity to address environmental considerations of the EPA without compromising individual privacy of the nation’s family farms and ranches,” said Miyamoto.

Miyamoto went on to explain how this will affect Wyoming. “In Wyoming, we have experienced targeting of ranchers by special interest groups hoping to eliminate federal grazing permits by identifying any missteps in permitting or data collection by federal agencies of jurisdictions or permittees. Providing some level of anonymity, while still submitting important resource data for environmental protection, but in aggregate form will help to protect individual farmers and ranchers from those that intend to cause them harm,” he said.

Miyamoto stressed the need for clear and consistent regulations that are effective, not onerous. “I believe the ACRE Act addresses many important issues facing today’s farming and ranching families and will support agricultural commerce and provide much-needed regulatory certainty,” he said.

For more information on Miyamoto’s testimony, click here.

 Barrasso welcomes Miyamoto to the committee

Chairman Barrasso greets Mr. Miyamoto before the hearing begins.

Background Information:

The Wyoming Stock Growers Association submitted written testimony to the EPW committee expressing its support for Barrasso’s ACRE Act and the regulatory relief it would provide for Wyoming’s ranchers.

On February 7, 2018, Wyoming’s Niels Hansen, secretary and treasurer of the Public Lands Council and member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, testified at an EPW Committee hearing on “the Impact of Federal Environmental Regulations and Policies on American Farming and Ranching Communities.” Hansen told the committee about the effects that “one-size-fits-all” environmental regulations have on Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers, and their ability to do their jobs.