WASHINGTON, D.C.  –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on March 1 that it is establishing a new office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities. The creation of the first-ever EPA Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs represents the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to improving environmental stewardship and economic opportunity for America’s farmers and ranchers, as well as strengthening the vitality of small towns and rural communities.

“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,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “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.”

Administrator Regan announced the creation of the new office alongside U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack while delivering remarks at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas, the largest farmer-led annual convention in the country. He is the first EPA Administrator in history to attend the seminal event.

The new office will facilitate closer coordination with relevant federal and state partners such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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). The Committee provides independent policy recommendations to Administrator Regan on a range of policies that impact agriculture and rural communities.

Agricultural groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), applauded the creation of the new office.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) appreciates Administrator Michael Regan for creating a new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in EPA. Mr. Regan recognizes the important role farmers and ranchers play in preserving the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with," said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "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.”

The new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, who has served as Administrator Regan’s Senior Advisor for Agriculture since October 2021. The new office will expand on the work of the Ag Advisor and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

Please visit the Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website for more information.