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David Sparks Ph.d EPA Gaffe
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 24, 2017

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Chris Banks is a Chesterfield rancher who at one time worked for the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts for eight years. During that time, obviously he learned the ropes and became familiar with all of the rules and regulations that go along with that type of job. However, he also learned pretty quickly that when someone from the government shows up on a landowner’s farm or ranch, it is not always an instant love affair. And why should it be? We all know what federal employees can be like, as an example, the EPA. I am certainly not anti-conservation, not anti-EPA, but sometimes people from government agencies can be heavy-handed and not really in touch with what needs to go on on a ranch or farm. You can say zero pollution, zero erosion, zero footprint etc. but is that realistic. Well, getting off my soap box, Chris started a consulting company called Conservation Basics because he learned that if you were a little softer in your approach to people with respect to conservation issues, it made landowners more willing to work with you. In a conversation with Chris, I noted that I had had experiences with government bureaucrats that astonished me because of their lack of some fundamental principles. He came back with a story which I think you ag producers out there might find amusing. "I had the opportunity to take representatives from EPA Region 10 out of Seattle on a tour of some of the projects that we had implemented in the last five or six years. When they got here, two of those people have never even seen a cow before. It scared me to death.”

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