Farming and Agriculture
Farming and Agriculture
Florida is a national leader in terms of the value of our agricultural crops, due in large part to the rich, diverse crops harvested in the Second Congressional District. Fruits, vegetables, livestock, timber, sugar, peanuts and cotton are just a few of the agricultural interests that thrive in North and Northwest Florida.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have enjoyed making frequent visits to the rural counties of our district to hear directly from the family farmers and local industries who are impacted on a daily basis by federal resource management and agriculture policy.
A familiar refrain that I have heard time and again is that something must be done to eliminate the crippling Washington regulations that kill small business growth. In fact, increased EPA regulations will cost up to 1.4 million jobs and $141 billion in GDP by 2014, according to the American Council for Capital Formation.
In Florida, the EPA has imposed an unachievable, one-size-fits-all standard for allowable nutrients in our lakes and rivers that could destroy 14,500 agriculture jobs and cost Florida taxpayers $2.7 billion annually. Making matters worse, this federal Numeric Nutrient Criteria ignores successes at state and local level to strengthen the health of Florida’s waterways. I have joined with Florida Governor Rick Scott and other officials to lead the charge in turning back this punishing regulation that singles out Florida’s farmers, small businesses and cash-strapped local governments while exempting the other 49 states.
I have also fought to eliminate costly and duplicative agriculture permitting requirements. For example, I voted for the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, which will reduce redundant permitting requirements for pesticide applications.
Over the next year, Congress will debate reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which will set national agriculture and food policy for the next five years. The legislation will also help shape trade policy, environmental regulations, food safety and rural development initiatives. I have heard the concerns of our farmers and rural communities loud and clear and look forward to fighting for a common sense reauthorization bill that empowers our agricultural industries while taking the steps necessary to reduce costs during tough economic times.
More on Farming and Agriculture
|5/16/13||Southerland Rural Communities Provision Approved by House Agriculture Committee|
|5/9/13||Southerland Appointed to Endangered Species Act Working Group|
|4/8/13||Southerland Proposes Tech Assistance Expansion|
|2/6/13||Southerland Applauds Market Reforms for Florida Tomato Growers|
|12/30/11||Steve's First Year Recap and a Look Ahead|
|4/22/11||Southerland Applauds Gov. Scott's Efforts to Halt Numeric Nutrient Regulations|