Ag Policy Blog

EPA Establishes Ag, Rural Affairs Office

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, right, and Rod Snyder, EPA's agricultural advisor, pose in front of a John Deere sprayer on the expo floor of Commodity Classic. Regan created a new Agriculture and Rural Affairs office that Snyder will lead. (DTN photo by Jerry Hagstrom)

HOUSTON (DTN) -- Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan on Friday announced the establishment of the EPA Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Regan made the announcements at Commodity Classic, a gathering here of 11,500 people including farmers and their families sponsored by the corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum commodity groups and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Regan attended Commodity Classic for the first time, joining Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on stage at the general session.

EPA is in charge of a number of policies and programs that affect farmers including the Renewable Fuel Standard, a national policy that requires a certain volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and pesticide regulation. EPA's relationship with farmers has been contentious since the agency was established in 1970 to clean up the nation's air and water.

"Farmers and ranchers are crucial partners as we work together to deliver clean air, clear water and climate solutions, all while playing the critical role of ensuring an abundant fiber, fuel and food supply," Regan said. "With the launch of this new office, we are ensuring agricultural and rural stakeholders will continue to have a seat at the table for many years to come."

The director of the office will be Rod Snyder, who has served as Regan's senior adviser on agriculture since October 2021. EPA said in a news release, "The new office will expand on the work of the ag adviser and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

EPA added the new office also will facilitate closer coordination with relevant federal and state partners such as the USDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state departments of agriculture. The office will also house EPA's existing Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC).

Snyder previously worked as a lobbyist for the National Corn Growers Association, one of the sponsors of the Commodity Classic. NCGA President Harold Wolle said in a news release today, "We are exceptionally pleased that there will be a program at EPA that is tasked with ensuring the voices and concerns of farmers are heard loud and clear," Wolle said. "And the administrator could not have found a better person to lead this office than Rod Snyder. Anyone who has worked with Rod will tell you he is a smart, stellar professional who thoroughly understands the agricultural community."

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, also said the farm group appreciates Regan creating the new office.

"Mr. Regan recognizes the important role farmers and ranchers play in preserving the natural resources they've been entrusted with," Duvall said. "We look forward to working with Rod Snyder as he directs the new office, and we encourage him to collaborate with families in rural America to ensure their voices are heard and they are treated as partners."

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

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