The new senior Agricultural Counselor to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator held a conference call Tuesday (4/16/13) to discuss her background and her role as an advisor at EPA on ways environmental policy may impact growers and the greater agriculture community. Sarah Bittleman accepted the new position with EPA in February after serving Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as USDA Senior Advisor on energy policy.
Bittleman admits that there is a problem of trust when it comes to farmers and ranchers and the EPA. “My job is to restore some of that trust,” she said, noting that it might be improved by working more closely with USDA, conservation districts and state departments of agriculture that have a better relationship with producers. “By partnering with these other folks who work so closely with agriculture, we can little by little grow a base of increased and better trust relationships.”Sarah Bittleman, EPA Ag Counselor