In just the last three years, the Environmental Protection Agency has set in motion a significant number of new regulations that will significantly change the face of agriculture.

The coming changes threaten the continued operation of family farms and ranches, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Testifying Nov. 17 on behalf of AFBF before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, Carl Shaffer, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, said EPA proposals to exert greater regulatory control over agriculture will drive up the cost of producing food, fiber and fuel.

“EPA proposals are overwhelming to farmers and ranchers and are creating a cascade of costly requirements that are likely to drive individual farmers to the tipping point,” Shaffer said. “The overwhelming number of proposed regulations on the nation’s food system is unprecedented and promises profound effects on both the structure and competitiveness of all of agriculture.”

“In contrast to EPA’s heavy-handed approach of issuing crushing regulatory burdens, agriculture and the Agriculture Department have worked together over the last few decades to make enormous strides in agriculture’s environmental performance by adopting a range of conservation practices and environmental measures,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer owns and operates a wheat, corn and green bean farm in Columbia County, Pa., located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.