Johannes gives final address
Created: 11/13/15 (Fri) | Topic: Leadership
North Dakota Farm Bureau President Doyle Johannes urged members to remain vigilant on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule during his final annual address before the delegate body at the 73rd NDFB Annual Meeting in Fargo.
“This won’t just affect farming and ranching,” Johannes pointed out. “It affects political subdivisions and golf courses, housing developments, you name it.”
At issue is the EPA’s rule that would give it unprecedented control over land use by increasing its regulatory reach beyond navigable waters.
Johannes said that even though two separate court orders have halted implementation, the fix is only short-term. “The issue is far from over. We have to stay vigilant or it will severely cripple our ability to do what we love to do.”
Johannes also shared with delegates a recent agreement that removed Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever personnel from the role of recommending conservation practices to farmers through the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
“We understand the need for this technical assistance, but we had a real problem with (those) organizations…making decisions that maybe weren’t in the best interest of what we as farmers have to do out there.”
Johannes said that, through the work of Congressman Kevin Cramer and his staff, a solution was reached, allowing Soil Conservation District technicians to serve in the capacity that biologists from Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever previously held.
“Trying to change a government agency and what’s going on with the programs that are in place is a tall order. But we were able to do it. I think it’s a huge win for North Dakota agriculture.”
Johannes also stressed the importance of the Farm Bureau family.
“I might not be related in blood to most of you, but Farm Bureau is a family that is wonderful to be a part of. And if wasn’t for family, I probably wouldn’t be here. We have people back home taking care of our operations so we can be here.”
Regarding his tenure as president, Johannes said, “I thank you for the opportunity I have had. It has been a humbling experience. You folks truly care about what is happening in agriculture.”
Johannes served the organization as president for four years and decided not to run again.