U.S. EPAOver the past few months AEM’s Manure Management and Agriculture Sprayer Leadership groups have been very active in their outreach and engagement with the U.S. EPA.

The groups have met with the following EPA entities: EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, The Pesticide Programs Dialogue Committee, the EPA Office of Water, the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, as well as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), to bring a manufacturer’s perspective to the work being done that impact companies that produce ag equipment and the customers they serve.

“AEM has worked diligently to develop strong ongoing relationships with the various offices within EPA over the years,” said AEM Agricultural Services Manager Austin Gellings. “Having such a strong relationship helps us as an industry to be proactive in getting our message out about the important innovations being made to make equipment safer for the operator, environment, and the community as a whole. It also serves as a way we can head off the need for regulatory action or ensure we’re at the table as a trusted partner if and when EPA wants to proceed with a rulemaking impacting sprayers.”

The Sprayer Leadership Group conducted a series of presentations with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. It was a two-part series, with the first presentation covering sprayer technologies that are used today and the second presentation covering technologies that are emerging or will be in the not-too-distant future. The presentations served as a continuation of AEM’s strong relationship with EPA, being proactive to bring the voice of the manufacturer to the table. The goal of these presentations was to inform EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs on how these technologies address spray drift, create a safer work environment, and reduce the amount of application needed.

Along with the Office of Pesticide Programs, the Sprayer Leadership Group also presented to the Pesticide Programs Dialogue Committee. The committee is tasked with advising EPA on where they should be focusing their efforts with regards to crop management technologies. As a result, it was critical for AEM to educate committee members on all the work that is being done by manufacturers to create and develop impactful technologies.

AEM’s Manure Management Leadership Group conducted presentations with EPA Office of Water, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, and NRCS. The group approached these presentations with the goal in mind of trying to promote manure as a valuable resource and not just a byproduct. In their discussions, the group emphasized how this can be accomplished through proper manure management and implementation of various technologies. And while all three groups had a different area of focus as to how manure can affect things like water and air quality, they all agreed that manure is a valuable resource at the end and expressed a great desire in learning more.

In total the scope of impact of these presentations was very large. The presentations had a total combined audience of over 400 people. Beyond just attendance, each presentation was also followed by very engaged discussion with those members of EPA who took the time to attend. Following each there were also requests for future presentations as well.

“This outreach is a way to bring the manufacturers perspective to the work being done by all of the groups,” said Gellings. “It not only provides them the opportunity to learn and ask questions but provides manufacturers with the chance to learn and improve as well, in turn, creating a unique and equally beneficial relationship.”

For more information on AEM’s  Manure Management and Agriculture Sprayer Leadership groups and their activities, contact AEM’s Austin Gellings at agellings@aem.org.

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