USDA

United States Department of Agriculture
Office of the Secretary
Washinglon, D.C. 20250
The Honorable Frank Lucas
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I would like to ask for your assistance and support in prioritizing the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's (USDA) statutory reporting requirements and eliminating those that are overly
burdensome or that no longer provide value to members of Congress. I assure you that I am
strongly committed to upholding the President's priorities of promoting openness and
transparency and ensuring that USDA is fully cooperative in response to members' requests for
information and exercise of their oversight responsibilities. Yet, too often statutory reporting
requirements live well heyond their usefulness; USDA staff are forced to devote scarce time and
energy to reporting requirements rather than assisting rural communities to create prosperity,
protecting and managing our natural resources, promoting agricultural production and
biotechnology exports, and ensuring that all of America's children have access to safe, nutritious,
and balanced meals.
Attached is a list of statutory reporting requirements that I have compiled, as well as my
recommendations for requirements that should be eliminated or consolidated in order to reduce
their administrative burden. For items marked "Eliminate" I recommend that Congress work to
remove the relevant statutory requirement, while for those marked "Consolidate" I recommend
either the combination of highly similar reports or a reduction in the frequency with which the
information must be provided.
A copy ofthe list is also being sent to Congressman Peterson. Ifyou would like to discuss the
attached list or next steps further, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working
together to make USDA more efficient.
Sincerely,
UJL
ThonmaJ^ilsack
Secretary
Attachment
An Equat C^)portunity Employer
Control Number: 6666243
1!.Jous'e of l'epres'entntibes'
(tCommittee on
fll: 20515
March 15,2011
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
Room 200A, Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building
14
th
& Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
As part of the responsibilities of the 11t
h
Congress, the House Agriculture Committee
has scheduled certain oversight reviews of your Department's operations and activities,
specifically fraud, waste, and abuse within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program; audit, compliance, and programmatic oversight of the Packers and Stockyard
Act; and the expenditure of Section 32 funds for disaster assistance.
These reviews have been assigned to Mr. John Jurich, an investigator on our staff, who
will be contacting both headquarters and field personnel in this regard. I would
appreciate the assistance of your office, as well as that of the affected agencies including
the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service (FNCS), the Office of Inspector General
(OIG), the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA), and the
Fann Service Agency (FSA), in these endeavors by making personnel available for
interviews and agency files and databases open for review. Mr. Jurich may be reached by
telephone at 202-225-0791 to facilitate this work.
I am confidant that the oversight reviews will assist both the Committee and the
Department in assuring the efficiency and integrity of these agency programs.
Thank you for your cooperation in these matters.
Respectfully,
Frank Lucas
Chainnan
Cc: Val Dolcini, Acting Administrator, FNCS
Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General
1. Dudley Butler, Administrator, GIPSA
Jonathan Coppess, Administrator, FSA
Control Number: 6752462
USDA
..
United States Department of Agriculture
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
March 23, 20 II
The Honorable Frank Lucas
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Lucas:
Thank you for your letter of March 15,2011, regarding the Committee's planned oversight
reviews of several Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and activities.
I share your strong commitment to identifying and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. I also
want to make sure we respond to all appropriate requests in a timely and efficient maill1er. In
order to ensure this, I would ask that your staff initiate all requests with Steve Silverman, Deputy
General Counsel. Steve will make sure that USDA responds in a timely maIU1er. Your staff,
including John Jurich, can contact him at (202) 720-3351 or Steve.Silverman@usda.gov.
Again, thank you for your letter. I look forward to assisting the Committee in their oversight of
these critical programs.
Sincerely,

Thomas 1. Vi ck •
Secretary
An Equal Opportunity
Control Number: 6752462
Q[ongrC,5£i of tll£ l1nitell :§tat£a
lmasllil1ghllt, DQr 20515
May 18,2011
The Honorable Tom Vi Isack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Indeperldcnce Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
FoJ lowing your testimony during the February 17, 20 I 1, hearing of the House Agriculture
Committee, we are writing in regard to the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards
Administration (GIPSA) rule on the marketing of livestock and poultry. Your prompt response to the
concerns that have previously been raised on this matter and your commitment to conduct a more
thorough economic analysis of the proposed rule are appreciated.
As the Department continues to review the more than 60,000 public comments received and
conduct a more thorough economic analysis of the proposed rule, we urge you to proceed in a
manner that allows further public comment on revisions to the proposal and the pending economic
analysis before a final or interim final rule is published. Withdrawing the June 22, 2010, proposed
rule and re-proposing a revised rule once the Department completes its economic analysis would
allow stakeholders the oppOltunity they deserve to comment on what we hope will be substantial
changes to t ~ e proposal more consistent with the intent of Congress outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill.
During debate over the 2008 Farm Bill, amendments were considered and rejected in both the
House and Senate regarding many of the specific provisions the Department has outlined in the
proposed rule, such as record keeping and competitive injury. Instead, Congress provided a narrow
set of issues for the Department to address. It is troubling that the Department appears to be using
the rule-making process to accomplish objectives specifically rejected by Congress, and we are
confident any such rule wi 11 not be looked upon favorably by Congress.
Particularly in a climate in which additional scrutiny is being applied to regulations seen as
overreaching or overly burdensome, we urge the Department to proceed in a transparent manner that
allows for those most impacted by this action a chance to comment on not only pending changes to
the proposal but the accompanying economic analysis as well. Further, to follow up on specific
questions raised during the February J7 hearing, we request that the Department provide an update
on the timeline for completion of the economic analysis and further action on the proposal.
Your consideration is appreciated and we look forward to your prompt response.
Sincerely,
~ £ J . ~
Frank Lucas
Member of Congress
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
Control Number: 6825986
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
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mnl1hinqhHt, i}<f 20515
June 23, 20 I I
The Honorable Gary Locke
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary
Secretary
U. S. Department of Commerce
V.S. Depm1ment of Agriculture
1401 Constitution Ave., NW 1400 rndcpendence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20230
Washington, DC 20250
The Honorable Ken Salazar
The Honorable Lisa Jackson
Secretary
Administrator
U.S. Department of Interior U.S. Environmental Protection
1849 C Street, NW Agency
Washington, DC 20240 Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
The Honorable Jane LlIbcheneo Washington, DC 20460
Adm i nistrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Dear Secretary Locke, Secretary Vilsack, Secretary Salazar, Administrator Jackson, and
Administrator LlIbchenco:
We understand that, on beha1f of the five federal agencies you represent, you have requested the
National R.esearch Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to provide
independent advice on various scientific and technical issues surrounding the Endangered Species
Act and biologica I opinions relating to the impact of certain crop protection tools on endangered
salmon species in Washington, Oregon, Jdaho, and California. As you know. through
correspondence and at a recent joint hearing of the Committee on Agriculture and Committee on
Natural we have repeatedly raised serious questions regarding the validity of the science
utilized to justify jeopardy rindings and nJitigation measures within these biological opinions, as well
as concerns «bout the lack of consideration for the serious econom ic impact these biologica I opinions
would have on communities in the impacted states.
Correspondence dated April 4, 2011 that was signed by both the Assistant Administrator for the
Office ofChemieal Safety and Pollution Prevention at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and the Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), outlines six specific areas your agencies are asking NRC to
Control Number: 6867694
review relating to the scientific quality and accuracy of the consultation processes associated with the
registration or products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (F1FRA).
As mentioned during the joint congressional oversight hearing on May 4, 2011. and to ensure
that this study truly addresses the coneems raised hy Federal agencies, Members of Congress, state
agriculture departments, mosquito control districts, growers and others, the follQ\.ving scientific
questions must be included for the NRC to answer in its repOit along with the scope of' work request
submitted by the agencies. Otherwise, taking a narrow view in relation to the scope of work posed to
the NRC will cast immediate doubt on the utility of this work.
Additional Congressional Scientific llnd Procedural Questions
• The NAS recently provided guidance on evaluation ardara quality for EPA Intcgrated Risk
Inl'ormation System (IRIS) evaluations. What criteria should the EPI\ and the Services be
using in evaluating data for acceptability and relative quality in regulatory decision-making?
How should decisions on data acceptability be documented?
• 1\ well defined weight-or-evidence framework would provide some structure and
transparellcy to the objective assessment of information relied upon for regulatory decision­
making. Is there a recommended framework for a "weight-or-evidence" approach f'or
evaluation of all relevant available data and how should that framework be applied')
• Were <lpparcnt incongruities or inconsistencies in available data appropriately addressed and
clearly described in the Services' biological opinions? Were the implications of the
inconsistencies considered in describing the unceJ1ainty in the assessment?
• Were the rationales used to support jeopardy or adverse modification determinations well­
grounded in empirical observations? Have the Services clearly articulately the limitations
and unccI1aintics associated with the effects determinations?
• When worst-case assumptions are made, how should they be documented to mal\c the level
of conservatism apparent, consistent with Presidential memoranda?
• Should uncertainty factors be reduced or eliminated as marc recent empirical data arc made
available'? Ifso. have the Services adopted this principle in their effects determinations
conducted ro date?
• Were [he assumptions llsed to fill dara gaps supported by empirical datH. reasonable and dearly
articulated?
• Were the specific assumptions and inlerences used to SUppOl1 jeopardy and adverse
modification determinations plausible? That is, did [he Services include an assessment orthe ,'[
priori likelihood that critical assumptions and inferences would prove true if tested?

Where in the assessment process should the Services involve thc cxpertise of other federal
and state agcncies, as well as non-federal entities such as growcrs and other stakeholders. in
the risk assessment process"
The prohlem formulation includes a description of the different that are influential

on species survival. How arc considerations of key stressors for endangered anclthrcatencd
species and the relative significance ofthcir known or potential impacts incorporated into a
jeopardy finding as pal1 of the Biological Opinion?

I low should consideration of key stressors inform the Reasonable and Prudent Measures
(RPMs) or Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) suggested al the end of the
consultation process'? For example, if habitat loss is identified as the predominant factor
impacting a species in question, how will measures to lessen impact include consideration of
mitigation options that increase or improve habitat?

Ilow should the Services consider the human health implications of the impact 0(' proposed
miligationll1easurcs on mosquito population control crforls'?
Scope of Work Must Covel' Direct and Indirect Economic Impacts.
Wc share the strong bipartisan opinion expressed by a number of Members of Congress during
the May 4,20 II hearing "At Risk: American Jobs, Agriculture. Health and Species -- the Costs 0/
Federal Regulatory Dysfunction" held jointly by the House Natural Resources Committee and the
House Agriculture Committee, that the scienti fie questions are only one component of what must be
reconsidered as the process to re-evaluate these biological opinions moves rorward. The EPA and
NOAA, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Depnrtment of
Agriculture (USDA), must also review and take into account the direct and indirect economic
impacts that,the mitigation measures and so-called "reasonable and prudent measures" (RPMs) and
''reasonHble and prudent ulternatives" (RPAs) outlined in these biological opinions would have on
individual growers and landowners, small businesses and local communities.
Therefore, it is imperative that any review of these biological opinions be comprehensive in
nature and uddress the follo'vving issues per1aining to economic feasibility, consistent with 50 C.F.R.
§ 402.02 belore moving l"orward with implemenlation of any pending or future biological opinions
related to FI FRA registered products: I
• What factors should the Services consider to make the determination that proposals arc
"consistent with the intended purpose of the action considered in these biological
• What factors should the Services consider to make the determination that proposals are
"techno logica Ily feasi ble"?
• What fiH.:tors should the Services consider to make the delermination that the proposals a arc
"economically feasible"?
• Can you recommend an appropriate ti'arnework for conducting a benefit-cost analysis (I3CA)
f()!' determining and documenting economic and technical feasibility?
• In addition to a BCA, a cost-elTectivcness analysis (CEA) can provide a rigorous way to
identify and evaluate options that achieve the most effective use orthe resources available. Can
you recolllmend an appropriate framework for conducting a CEA to evaluate a range of
possible alternatives under consideration?
• ['01' both BCAs and CEAs how should the Services document and analyze important
uncertainties associated with proposed RPAs'? Furthermore, to what extent is it
recommended that the Services provide a sensitivity analysis to reveal whether, and to what
extent. the results orthe analysis are sensitive to plausible changes in the m<lin assumptions and
inputs?
• To what extent is it recommended that the Services identify and consider important ancillary
benefits and countervailing risks related to proposed RPAs? (For example, potential reduction in
habitat resulting fi'om changes in land mmwgement practices in response to proposed restrictions.)
As we have communicated to you, as well as the Chairman of the White I-louse Council on
Environmental Quality in the past, we strongly question the validity of the science behind the
jcopardy findings in these biological opinions, as well as the necessity of the mitigation measures
that arc providl::d, which would have a devastating impact on agriculture in the Pacific Northwest
<Jnd California. We request that yOLl direct your agencies to provide explicit written responses to
incorporated into the mitigation measures.
Sincerely,
cach orthe aforementioned questions as you work with NAS to review the four pending biological
opinions. We also request that no implementation or enforcement of pending or future biological
opinions by your agencies be allowed until the strongest, and most current df'lt" f'lnd scientific
information available has been used ancl all economic implications have been fully considered and
Doc flast ings Frank Lucas
Member or Congress Member of Congress
cc: Presidenl Ralph Cicerone, National Academy of Sciences
FRANK^ . LUCAS
• 3RD DISTRICT, OKLAHOMA
2311 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20515-3603
12021 225-5565
www. house. gov/ l ucas
ASSISTANT MAJORITY WHIP
Congress of the iBnited S t a t e s
I ftou sc of H e p r c s c n t a t i o t s
^ a s h i n s t o n , H ^ d 2 0 5 1 5 -3 6 0 3
7 % e Honorable T om Vilsack, Se cre tary
United States Dep artment ofAgric u kiire „
1400 Inde pe nde nce A v e . , S. W.
WasMngton, D. C. 20250
RE: ne Cattle m e n's Be e f Prom otion & Re se arch Board
AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
CAPITAL MARKETS AND
GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED ENTERPRISES
DOMESTIC MONETARY
POLICY AND TECHNOLOGY
SCIENCE, SPACE, AND .
TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
SPACE AND AERONAUTICS
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
2<Sepll0ii(cr2Oll
'Mister Sec retaty: '
I am p leased t o commraid t o you Te r r y L. WyaM iof ^ f f i t f n *, ^ a s a camSdate f o r th e C a t t t o n n i's B e r f
Promotion & Research Board.
Terry Wyatt i s a i i f d o n g cattlewoinan 1 1 ^ c ood n u es a h a lf ^ e o t t ^
sou thwest Okl^ i mi a . She i s a dedic ated s o va m t o hnr inb^ siiy ood t o h n state, b a v ^
Oklahoma C o a s »va i i (m Coiniidssion, Pieddffltt o f Qt i a h o m WoiiiMi i o Agri(»ltafe, ^ Oi a ^
Retail Committee of the Oklatoma Catttemea's B e e f Bomdi She i s ac tive in her CKoaamisy a s a tmsaitet o f the
H ollister Bap tist a n i n :h and the Okla h o n a Junior Uve s t o (^ Assodatitm a s w ^ a s th e (Mdafaonm PlBim
American Farmers and Ra n c h e s . H ard- woiting and resourteftri. d i li g o t t and determiDed, Te n y Wyait's insights
would be o f valu e to the Cattlemoi's B e e f Promotion f t Research Board.
Please g i ve this request du e c onsideration, lli a i d c yo u v ^ mu d ).
FDL/gk
Resp ec tfu lly,
FRANK 0 . LUCAS
Meinbm>fjCbi^ ^ ess
: • ' : • ' < . . 1 1
i . ' j i •
10952 NORTHWEST EXPRESSWAY
SUITE B
YUKON, OK 73099
(40 5)373-1 958
DISTRICT OfqOES: . j •
2222 WEST 12TH STREET
STILLWATER, OK 74074
(4051 624-6407
(918)227-0354
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
. . ' <;• .
2728 WILLIAMS AVENUE
SUITE F
WOODWARD, OK 73801
(580)256-5752
Control Number: 6968785
DEPARTMENT OF AGRI CULTURE
WI i r i ' E HOUSE L I AI SON OFFI CE
OFFI CE OF THE SECRETARY
WA S H I N G T O N , D. C. 20250
September 19,2011
The Honorable Frank Lucas
U.S. House of Representatives
2311 Rayburn House Of f ice Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Lucas:
Thank you f or your letter on September 2, 2011 recommending Mr. Terry Wolf f or appointment on
the Cattleman's Beef Promotion and Research Board.
Boards serve an important role in public policy. As we identify qualified candidates to serve on the
Cattleman's Beef Promotion and Research Board, please be assured that Mr. Wolf wi ll be given f ull
consideration in the selection process.
Your endorsement is noted and appreciated.
Sincerely,
JCnta Williams
White House Liaison
Control Number: 6968785
Congress ai tl\e Bnttei st at es
Wasl^mtan, i © 20515
December 16,2011
Secretary Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
~We write to urge ybu fb place a moFatoriimi on tiie^in^lenietitatioh^f the water clause released
on November 8, 2011 for use in ski area permits on Forest Service lands.
We have heard concems from ski area constituents across the West regarding language in the
new water clause requiring the relinquishment of water rights as a permit condition. The
concems raised mclude immediate and practical consequences for this year's ski season as well
as concems regarding the long term stability ofthe ski industry and the jobs it provides for local
communities. Affected ski areas note the significant departure ofthe 2011 clause from the
previous 2004 clause which was crafted with industry and Forest Service consensus.
A November, 15* hearing m the Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee ofthe House
Committee on Natural Resoittces revealed the considerable consequences the implementation of
this clause could have on ski areas, jobs, and state water law. Among those implications are the
ability ofthe ski areas to gain access to financing to maintain their facilities and provide jobs and
the deviation this clause takes from long standing federal deference to state law on water issues
in the West. All water rights holders m the westem states rely on the complex and diverse water
systems and state laws through which water is appropriated and applied to beneficial use on
Forest Service lands and are unpacted by any departure from existing law. Federal treatment of
water rights in this way impacts not only ski areas, but could also be brought to bear on grazing
interests and others who rely on private water rights for the livelihood of their operations.
We recommend that the agency issue a moratoriiun on the implementation ofthis water clause
until the clause can be reviewed in fiirther detail. We also urge the Forest Service to work with
ski areas as the agency has in the past to ensure that a clause is adopted which respects state laws
and takes into account the impact that clause language can have on the stability ofthe industry
and the many jobs|Cormected to it. A collaborative approach to the development of water rights
regulations on Forest Service lands will help ensure the success ofthe ski industry and the health
ofthe natural resources that support it.
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
Control Number: 7094248
Sincerely,
Doc Hastings
fc Hastings
Chairman
House Natural Resources Committee
"^^jdA^L^^
Frank Lucas
Chairman
House Committee on Agriculture
Chairman
House Interior and Environment
I
Appropriations Subcommittee
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural
Development, Food and Drug Adminisfration,
and Related Agencies
Scott Tipton
Member of Congress
•H^^^:^^—
USDA
-
United States Department of Agriculture
APR 2 2012
The Honorable Frank D. Lucas
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Lucas:
Thank you for your letter of December 16, 2011, co signed by your colleagues, regarding
placement of a moratorium on the interim directive governing water rights clauses for ski area
permits. I apologize for the delayed response.
On November 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service issued an interim
directive, ID-2709.11-2011-3, establishing a revised water rights clause (2011 clause) for ski
area special use permits. Agency staff met with your staff on January 6, 2012, to discuss the
issues raised in your letter.
The Forest Service is not planning to adopt a moratorium on the interim directive. The
revised water rights clause for ski area special use permits was issued as an interim directive
to give the Agency flexibility to assess impacts, respond to concerns, and make adjustments
based on feedback from individual ski areas.
On March 6, 2012, the Forest Service issued a new interim directive, ID-2709.11-2012-2, to
clarify aspects of the 2011 clause. The interim directives are now the subject of litigation.
Therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the concerns raised in
your letter at this time.
Again, thank you for writing to express your concerns. A similar response is being sent to
your colleagues.
Sincerely,
~
Secretary
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Congress ai tl\e Bnttei st at es
Wasl^mtan, i © 20515
December 16,2011
Secretary Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
~We write to urge ybu fb place a moFatoriimi on tiie^in^lenietitatioh^f the water clause released
on November 8, 2011 for use in ski area permits on Forest Service lands.
We have heard concems from ski area constituents across the West regarding language in the
new water clause requiring the relinquishment of water rights as a permit condition. The
concems raised mclude immediate and practical consequences for this year's ski season as well
as concems regarding the long term stability ofthe ski industry and the jobs it provides for local
communities. Affected ski areas note the significant departure ofthe 2011 clause from the
previous 2004 clause which was crafted with industry and Forest Service consensus.
A November, 15* hearing m the Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee ofthe House
Committee on Natural Resoittces revealed the considerable consequences the implementation of
this clause could have on ski areas, jobs, and state water law. Among those implications are the
ability ofthe ski areas to gain access to financing to maintain their facilities and provide jobs and
the deviation this clause takes from long standing federal deference to state law on water issues
in the West. All water rights holders m the westem states rely on the complex and diverse water
systems and state laws through which water is appropriated and applied to beneficial use on
Forest Service lands and are unpacted by any departure from existing law. Federal treatment of
water rights in this way impacts not only ski areas, but could also be brought to bear on grazing
interests and others who rely on private water rights for the livelihood of their operations.
We recommend that the agency issue a moratoriiun on the implementation ofthis water clause
until the clause can be reviewed in fiirther detail. We also urge the Forest Service to work with
ski areas as the agency has in the past to ensure that a clause is adopted which respects state laws
and takes into account the impact that clause language can have on the stability ofthe industry
and the many jobs|Cormected to it. A collaborative approach to the development of water rights
regulations on Forest Service lands will help ensure the success ofthe ski industry and the health
ofthe natural resources that support it.
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
Control Number: 7094248
Sincerely,
Doc Hastings
fc Hastings
Chairman
House Natural Resources Committee
"^^jdA^L^^
Frank Lucas
Chairman
House Committee on Agriculture
Chairman
House Interior and Environment
I
Appropriations Subcommittee
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural
Development, Food and Drug Adminisfration,
and Related Agencies
Scott Tipton
Member of Congress
•H^^^:^^—
USDA
-
United States Department of Agriculture
APR 2 2012
The Honorable Frank D. Lucas
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Lucas:
Thank you for your letter of December 16, 2011, co signed by your colleagues, regarding
placement of a moratorium on the interim directive governing water rights clauses for ski area
permits. I apologize for the delayed response.
On November 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service issued an interim
directive, ID-2709.11-2011-3, establishing a revised water rights clause (2011 clause) for ski
area special use permits. Agency staff met with your staff on January 6, 2012, to discuss the
issues raised in your letter.
The Forest Service is not planning to adopt a moratorium on the interim directive. The
revised water rights clause for ski area special use permits was issued as an interim directive
to give the Agency flexibility to assess impacts, respond to concerns, and make adjustments
based on feedback from individual ski areas.
On March 6, 2012, the Forest Service issued a new interim directive, ID-2709.11-2012-2, to
clarify aspects of the 2011 clause. The interim directives are now the subject of litigation.
Therefore, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the concerns raised in
your letter at this time.
Again, thank you for writing to express your concerns. A similar response is being sent to
your colleagues.
Sincerely,
~
Secretary
An Equal Opportunity Employer
FRANK D. LUCAS, OKLAHOMA,
CHAIRMAN
BOB G OODL AT T S, VIRGINIA,
VICE CHAl fi ftAN
TIMOXHY V. JOHNSON. ILLINOIS
STEVE KING , IOWA
RANDY NEUGEBAUER. TEXAS
K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, TEXAS
JEFF FORTENBERRY, NEBRASKA
JEAN SCHMIDT, OHIO
GLENN T HOMPSON, PENNSYLVANIA
T HOMAS J. ROONEY, FLORIDA
MARLIN A. ST UT ZMAN, INDIANA
BOB GIBBS, OHIO
AUST IN SCOTT, GEORGIA
SCOTT R. T IPT ON. COLORADO
STEVE SOUT HERUND II, FLORIDA
ERIC A. -RICK- CRAWFORD, ARKANSAS
MARTHA ROBY. Al-ABAMA
T IM HUELSKAMP, KANSAS
SCOTT DESJARLAI S, TENNESSEE
RENEE L. ELLMERS, NORTH CAROLINA
CHRISTOPHER P. GIBSON, NEW YORK
RANDY HULTGREN, ILLINOIS
VICKY HARTZLER, MISSOURI
ROBERT T. SCHILLING, ILLINOIS
REID J. RIBBLE, WISCONSIN
KRISTI L, NOEM, SOUTH DAKOTA
i a . ^ . i ^ o u s e of H ep r esen m tioes
dommittEC on a s r i c u l t u r t
H o o m 1 ) 0 1 , l o n g i D o r t h i f i o u s c © ( T i c t J S u i l i l i i i g
W a s h i n g t o n , © £ 20515-6001
1202) 225- 2171
(202) 225- 0917 FAX
February 3, 2012
COLLIN C. PETERSON, MINNESOTA
RANKING MINORITY MEMBER
T IM HOLDEN, PENNSYLVANIA
MIKE MclNT YRE, NORTH CAROLINA
LEONARD L. BOSWELL, IOWA
JOE BACA, CAUFORNIA
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, CALIFORNIA
DAVID SCOTT, GEORGIA
HENRY CUELLAR, TEXAS
JIM COSTA, CALIFORNIA
TIMOTHY J. WALZ, MINNESOT A
KURT SCHRADER, OREGON
LARRY KISSELL, NORTH CAROLINA
WILLIAM L OWENS, NEW YORK
CHELLIE PINGREE, MAINE
JOE COURTNEY, CONNECTICUT
PETER WELCH, VERMONT
MARCIA L. FUDGE, OHIO
GREGORIO KILIU CAMACHO SABLAN,
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
TERRI A. SEWELL, ALABAMA
JAMES P. McGOVERN, MASSACHUSETTS
NICOLE SCOTT,
STAFF DIRECTOR
KEVIN J. KRAMP,
CHIEF COUNSEL
ROBERT L. LAREW,
MINORITY STAFF DIRECTOR
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
We appreciate thie Department's ongoing commitment to ensuring that national school nutrition programs are
adequately delivering vital nourishment to our children. As the Department develops the upcoming regulation
on "coiripetitive foods," as required by Section 208 ofthe "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010," we
strongly urge you to ensure consistency with the recently released final rule^ "Nutrition Standards in the
Naifibrial'School Luneh arid Breakfast Pi-bgrarhs-;"'- -' ' -' '• • / • '>]|;v-' ;• ••:;:•: i':-'. 3J»iS . ;•. i;-;>:.:.
WHeri USDA-flf St crafted the regulatibri on nutfitiofi standards'iri schools, weheardfjtsni producers, food •-
processors and schools concemed about the cost and inconsistencies ofthe original proposal. The Department
addressed many ofthese concems in its final rule and we ask that USDA be mindful that these same issues
remain as you move forward with the proposal on "competitive foods."- We hope you will adhere to
Congressional intent 3nd past communication when creating this proposal. : '
We would like to see that this regulation is based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and remains
fair and cost effective for schools and piarticipating families. The current economic climate is one in which it is
ofthe utmost importance to protect schools and working families from dramatically increased costs in the form
of higher food costs and logistical demands on schools or those in the agriculture and food production sectors.
We believe the Department should carefully consider the cost versus benefit of mandating schools to sell higher
priced products or different products for the reimbursable and the a la carte lines. It would be productive for
foods that play a role in providing children nutritious reimbursable lunches to remain available on the
competitive foods line. We agree that balanced consumption of healthy foiads is critical to good nutrition; and
we also understand that schools need consistency to ensure they can continue to afford to provide healthy and
appealing food options. ,)):
Consistency in'ri-egulatidh of federal nutrition programsUsesseritial'fdf-^a^e of:implementation, efficiency in
delivery, and to maximize effectiveness, allowing programs tofulfill the purpose for w:hich they were created.
We; respectfully ask that youtake'a cbmriibnsense approach when crafting this upcoming regulation.
Sincerely;-•^-• •• ' •• --'^P'.; '-•'' --"•••;•'''•; :"•" i'"'^'•••;'••• .V. '. • .'!-'-= ,!;^
M
. * i ; t ; ' .
Frank D. Lucas, Chairman Collin Peterson, Ranking Member
agr i cul t ur e. house. gov
agr i cul t ur e@mat Lhouse. gov
Control Number: 7150152
USDA

United States Department of Agriculture
MAR 1 9 2012
The Honorable Frank D. Lucas
Chairman
Committee on Agriculture
U.S. House of Representatives
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6001
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Office of lhe Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
Thank you for your letter of February 3, 2012, cosigned by your colleague, discussing your
concerns regarding standards for foods served outside of the National School Lunch Program
(NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). I apologize for the delayed response, and I
understand that the Food and Nutrition Service has contacted your office.
You requested that such standards and regulations be aligned with the standards for NSLP and
SBP meal patterns recently published in the Federal Register. As you are aware, section 208 of
the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of2010 (P.L. 111-296) amended section 10 of the Child
Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 USC 1779, which requires that the standards we develop for foods
served outside the NSLP and SBP be consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, and that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) take a number of important issues
into consideration, including the practical application of the nutrition standards in schools. At this
time, a proposed rule to establish such standards is under development.
School districts have expressed their concerns regarding the potential financial and logistical
impacts associated with the implementation of these standards. Stakeholders have also shared
their views of how to best address those concerns. As we continue our work to develop the
proposed rule, current scientific information and school practices, as well as voluntary standards
for food sold outside of school meal programs recommended by a number of organizations, are
being analyzed. We are working to ensure that the proposed standards are practical, as well as
consistent with the NSLP meal pattern regulation in areas in which the regulations overlap.
USDA is also sensitive to ensuring that the regulations do not place undue burden or complexity
on school staff who operate under both standards. All public comments will be carefully
considered once the proposed rule is published and the final rule is developed.
Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. Please have your staff contact Brian Baenig,
Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, at (202) 720-7095, if you have any questions.
A similar letter is being sent to Congressman Collin Peterson.
Sincerely,
All Equal
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Control Number: 7150152
F R A N K D, L U C A S
3RD DISTRICT, OK L A HOMA
2311 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHI NGTON, DC 20515-3603
(202)225-5565
www. house. gov/ l ucas
ASSI STANT MAJORITY WHIP
Consress of the Bnited States
i^ouse of UeprtBcntatioES
llDashington, BC 20515-3603
The Honorabte Tom Vilsack, Secretary,
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S. W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Mister Secr^ary.
AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
C HA I R MA N
FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
CAPI TAL MA R K E TS A N D
GOV E R N ME N T- S PON S OR E D ENTERPRI S ES
DOMES TI C MON E TA R Y
POL I CY A N D TE C HN OL OGY
SCIENCE, SPACE, AND
TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
S PA C E A N D A ER ON A U TI C S .
E N E R GY A N D E N V I R ON ME N T
On behalf of my constituents piease find enclosed copies of letters and petitions which they have asked me
to conv^ to your ofBce r^arding the closure of the USDA-FSA Office in Pawnee. Oklahoma.
Thank you for your sovice to our nation and her farmers and ranchers.
Sincerely,
PRANK D.LUCAS
Mendjer of Congress
10952 NORTHWEST EXPRESSWAY
SUITE B
YU K ON , OK 73099
(4051373-1958
DISTRICT OFFICES:
2222 WEST 12TH STREET
STILLWATER, OK 74074
(405) 624-6407
(918)227-0354
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
2728 WILLIAMS AVENUE
SUITE F
WOODWARD, OK 73801
(580) 256-5752
Control Number: 7162637
USDA
iiiiii
United States Department of Agriculture
MAR I 2 2012
The Honorable Frank D. Lucas
U.S. House of Representatives
2311 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20215
Dear Congressman Lucas:
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
Thank you for your letter of February 14, 2012, and for forwarding letters and comments from
your constituents in Pawnee, Oklahoma, regarding the Pawnee Farm Service Agency (FSA)
office.
Consistent with provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill , P.L. 110-246, on February 27, 2012, I formally
notified members of Congress whose districts are affected by office closures of the Department
of Agriculture's (USDA) plan to approve consolidation of 131 FSA offices with other USDA
service centers in 90 days. Additionally, consistent with provisions ofthe 2008 Farm Bill, FSA
held public meetings in every county in which an FSA office was proposed for consolidation.
Members of the public were invited to make public comments at the meetings, and/or to submit
comments in writing for up to 10 days following the public meeting.
I assure you that no decision about consolidating offices was made without a great deal of
thought-particularly as to how service would be maintained. The decisions we made to
consolidate and close offices were designed to deal with less money and fewer workers while
avoiding furloughs and reduction in force actions that would have had a more disruptive impact
on our ability to provide key services, and avoiding reductions in our commitment to technology
that will make service more convenient.
In deciding which offices would be affected in FSA, USDA followed the guidelines Congress set
forth in section 14212 ofthe 2008 Farm Bill , P.L. No. 110-246, which required FSA, to the
maximum extent practicable, to first consider for closure offices with two or fewer employees
that were located within 20 miles of another office. Secondly, FSA identified all offices that
currently have zero employees, no matter where they are located. Ofthe 131 offices proposed
for closure nationwide, two are in the state of Oklahoma- Pawnee County and Mayes County
offices. The Pawnee County office has been identified as having zero permanent, full-time
employees. The Mayes County office has two employees and is 18 miles from another office.
Thank you for sharing concerns about the potential for the office closure to negatively impact the
Pawnee community. It's true that in many communities, FSA plays a significant role- not just
for farmers, but for the rural businesses and communities where they do business. While we
recognize the concerns of producers who will have to travel to another location to conduct
business with FSA once consolidations take effect, because we are applying this Farm Bill
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Control Number: 7162637
The Honorable Frank D. Lucas
Page 2
criteria nationwide, it would potentially go against the statute set in the Farm Bill to "pick and
choose" offices for consolidation.
All workers in a closed office will be offered employment options by FSA. If a consolidation
results in a producer selecting an administrative county outside their current farm loan team's
jurisdiction, a new Farm Loan Officer will be assigned to that producer. Ultimately, farmers will
still get the same service from many of the same people, just in a different location. Farmers will
be given the option, however, of being serviced by another FSA county office other than the one
proposed if they choose. Farmers will also continue to have the opportunity to vote for
representation on the county committee that oversees the county office servicing them.
FSA is also working to ensure that farmers and ranchers are able to access new office locations
after consolidations take place. FSA is modernizing information technology, improving its
business processes, and concentrating staff in the 2,113 remaining offices in order to provide
consistent service in fully staffed, fully functioning offices. While we understand this change
will be inconvenient for many producers, with today's technology, USDA will find a way to
reach our customers if they can't travel.
The operating budget of USDA has been cut by over 12 percent in the last 2 years. As a strategy
for managing these cuts, we have reduced travel, supplies, and printing costs, engaged in a
thorough review of internal operations that has identified 246 recommendations for change, and
instituted a targeted incentive program for our employees who were at or near retirement.
During the last 15 months, over 7,000 experienced members of USDA's workforce have retired.
Many of their positions will not be filled. In addition, we examined the footprint of USDA
around the country and the globe. Our goal is to strengthen service, notwithstanding reduced
budgets and fewer workers.
This process, embodied by the Blueprint for Stronger Service, has been worked on for over 6
months and has involved top leadership in the USDA's Washington, D.C. , office and in each
state. Every mission area is impacted, and virtually every state is involved. Reductions will also
be occurring in the D.C. area and regional offices. After the closures are effected, USDA will
still have almost 3,000 locations nationwide, and the service that people have come to depend
upon will be strengthened without disruptive furloughs or reductions in force and with continued
investment in technology to make service in the future even more convenient for our customers
across the country.
I assure you that FSA, as well as the other agencies and offices ofUSDA, will remain fully
committed to providing excellent service to farmers in Oklahoma and all Americans.
Sincerely,
. Cnngrieas of t\)t Winxtth states
Haslimgtnn, JBOT 20515
June 27, 2012
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary
U. S. Department of Agriculture
14th And Independence, NW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
We request that as the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalizes new regulations governing
the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), you seriously reconsider
the ban on the purchase of fi-esh white potatoes, which is currently included in the proposed fmal rule.
Excluding inexpensive, nutrient-dense fresh white potatoes from the WIC supplemental nutrition
program—while all other finits and vegetables are included—sends the wrong message to low-income
WIC participating mothers and suggests a "govemment-knows-best" mentality inconsistent with
individual choice and promotion of self-responsibility.
Ensuring that fresh white potatoes qualify for WIC will help your agency develop and implement a
federal nutrition program that truly promotes the consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables by
adults and children alike.
A scientific study on consumer choices among WIC participants using supplemental vouchers and
published in the Joumal of the American Dietetic Association found that "low-income consumers
make wise, varied, and nutritious choices from available produce and that the potential for dietary
improvement with a targeted subsidy that allows free choice within the produce category is
significant."' Additionally, at 10 cents per Yi cup serving, boiled white potatoes are the cheapest fresh
fruit or vegetable available, according to USDA's Economic Research Service in 2011.^
In the past, the agency has commented that the proposed ban on fresh white potatoes was based on a
2005 National Academies' Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, which considered the recommendations
of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). However, since the agency's armouncement of
the proposed rule, the 2010 DGA were published in January 2011 reflecting current data on nutritional
needs and current consumption patterns.
As the federal govemment's evidence-based nutritional guidance, the 2010 DGA recommends 5-6
cups of starchy vegetables per week for women with a daily caloric intake of 1,800-2,400 calories—an
increase of 2-3 cups per week from the 2005 DGA. ^ The 2010 DGA also recommends up to 4 cups
of starchy vegetables per week for children up to age five with a recommended daily caloric intake of
' Herman, D.R., G. G. Harrison, and E. Jenks. 2006. "Choices Made by Low-Income Women Provided with an Economic
Supplement for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Purchase," Joumal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 106: pp. 740-744.
^ Stewart, H. , J. Hyman, J.C. Buzby, E. FrazSo, and A. Carlson. 2011. How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and
Vegetables? USDA, Economic Research Service. www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB71/EIB71 .pdf (May 29, 2012)
^ U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines f or
Americans, 2010, Appendices 6 and 7, page 78-79
"* U.S. Department of Healthand Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dietary Guidelines for
Americans, 2005, Appendix A-2, page 53
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Control Number: 7329712
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
June 27,2012
Page 2 of 8
up to 1,600 calories—^^an increase of 1.5 cups per week from the 2005 DGA. USDA should revisit its
WIC regulations to reflect these most recent federal guidelines.
Nutritional data also support the value of white potatoes in providing key nutrients, including
potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and folate to WIC mothers and their young children. For example, the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that folate is necessary for the production and maintenance
of new cells, which is especially important during pregnancy.^ According to USDA's Nutrient Data
Laboratory, one medium (173 gram serving) white Russet potato contains 45 micrograms of folic acid,
which is more than in similar servings of cooked carrots (24 micrograms) or sweet potatoes (10
micrograms), two other commonly consumed vegetables.^
Additionally, the agency has previously stated that including fresh white potatoes in the WIC program
would hinder the goal of expanding the types and varieties of fmits and vegetables available to
participants. However, the latest consumption data do not support the notion that WIC participants are
over-consuming potatoes. According to publically available data from the Center for Disease Control's
2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and an analysis from CDC's National
Center for Health Statistics, women participating in the WIC program consumed only 2.1 percent of
their total calories from fresh white potatoes while non-WIC participants took in 2.4 percent of their
calories from fresh white potatoes. Although slight, this difference indicates that WIC participants are
not currently over-consuming potatoes compared to their non-WIC peers. It also shows that neither
group is consuming potatoes in amounts that limit the consumption of other fruits and vegetables in
their diets.^
WIC participants and U. S. taxpayers deserve federal nutrition policy that is science-based and has the
potential to improve the health of participants. Since potatoes are far less expensive than other
vegetables per unit of nutrition delivered, WIC participants should be allowed to supply nutrients to
themselves and their young children in a way that maximizes their WIC vouchers and the efficiency of
federal expenditures.
We request that you carefiilly reconsider the decision to exclude fresh white potatoes and ensure that
they are included in the final mle.
Best regards,
^ofyMeeks
MembVij/f Congress Member of Congress
' National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Folate,
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factslieets/folate/ (March 26, 2012)
USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, Basic Report: Nutrient data f or 11356, Potatoes, Russet, flesh and skin, baked,
http://ndb.nal.usda.gOv/ndb/foods/show/3151 (March 26, 2012)
' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/about nhanes.htm (March 26, 2012)
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
June 27, 2012
Page 3 of 8
5oc Hastings
Member o/^ongress
Mike Simpson
Member of Congress
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Member of Congress
fdner
Membd- of Congress
Mike Michaud
Member of Congress
Leid Ribble
Member of
Renee Ellmers
Member of Congress
Rick Larsen
Member of Congress
David Reichert
Member of Congress
Raul Labrador
Member of Congress
Member of Congre:
[eed
Member of Congress
Scott Tipton ^
Member of Congress
fean Schrnidt
Member of Congress
"Larry Kis| d l
Member of Congress
.ollin Peterson
Member of Congress
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
June 27, 2012
Page 4 of 8
Lichard Hanna
Member of Congress
Joe Baca
Member of Congress
Edolphus Towns
Member of Congress
orCmieress
Austin Sc«tt
Member orCShgress
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Member of Congress
11 Huizenga / i
f Congres^^_^ Member of Congre
Tamrrfy Baldwin
Memoer of Congress
Tim Bishop
Member of Congress
^ Far l Rl i i mpnf l i i er
Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress
Kurt Schrader
Member of Congress
Diana DeGette
Member of Congress
\ if ller Welch
Member of Congress
Bill Owens
Member of Congress
Fred Upton
Member of Congress
lie f ingree
Member of Congress
Marie Buerkle
fember of Congress
The Honorable Tom Vilsack.
June 27, 2012
Page 5 of 8
Norm Dicks
Member of Congress
Candice Miller
Member of Congress
/L(F.n
Sean Duffy
Member of Congress
Gerald Connolly
Member of Congress
Ed Perlmutter
Member of Congress
Frank Lucas
Member of Congress
^ ^ ^ ^
Mike Coffrnan
Member of Congress
Denny Rehberg
Member of Congress
Gregorio Sablan
Member of Congress
Walter B. Jones
Member of Congress
onna C^stensen
Member of Congress
Suz^/e Bonamici
Member of Congress
Doug Lambom
lember of Congress
leath Shuler
Member of Congress
Mike Mclntyre v
Member of Congress
Rick Berg
Member of Congress
The Honorable Tom Vilsack-
June 27, 2012
Page 6 of 8
TimWmz ^
Member of Congress
^^^ne^^rowi -^^
Member of Congress
jJlDoimelly I j
Member of Congress
Vicky Hanzler
Member of Congress
Leonard Boswell
Member of Congress
Aaron Schock
Member of Congress
Phil Roe, M. D.
Member of Congress
Brian Bilbray
Member of Co
Dan Benishek, M. D.
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
Jim Cooper '
Member of Congress
•J
Cynthia Lummis
Member of Congress
s Smith
Member of Congress
Dan Boren
Member of Congress
Jason Altmire
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
June 27, 2012
Page 7 of 8
Member oi Congress
Jonn Barrow
Member of Congress
CharlieDent
lember of Congress
laywor
Member of Congress
. im Jordaiy
Memberfiff Congress
Allen West
Member of Congress
Lynn Jenk^pr
Member of Congress
Bill Johns^lr
Membgt' of Congress
Ted Poe
Member of Congress
Steve Israel
Member of Congress
idy Bigj
Member of Congress
Chris Gibson
Member of Congress
>teve Austna
Member of Congress
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
June 27, 2012
Page 8 of 8
Steve Stivers
Member of Congress
>andy AQ^ s
Member of Congress
Phil Gingrey, M.T). Q
Member of Congress
Joe Courtney
Member of Congress
^^ujc^flufi*
Randy Neugebauer
Member of Congress
Paul Broun, M. D.
Member of Congress
Diane Black
Member of Congress
Ileana Ros-Lehtin
Member of Congress
Tim Holden
Member of Congress
Noemi
Member of Congress
Steve Chakot
ivlember sl" Congress
Jn^ Costa
Member of Congress
I . - •
\ t ^ ^ . / ^ ( / / M ^
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Member of Congress


















































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March 31, 2011

The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
United States Senator
3280 Beltline Court Suite 400
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525

Dear Senator Stabenow:

Thank you for your letter of March 17, 2011, on behalf of your constituents,
, regarding their denied payment under the Supplemental Revenue
Assistance Payments (SURE) Program.

The Michigan State Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office was contacted regarding your
constituents’ concerns. I am pleased to inform you that after further clarification with the
Risk Management Agency, will be eligible under the SURE
Program. The Ottawa County FSA Office has been notified and will process
SURE application accordingly.

Again, thank you for your letter. We appreciate the opportunity to address your
constituents’ concerns.

Sincerely,

Brandon C. Willis
Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs





USDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer
United States
Department of
Agriculture

Farm and Foreign
Agricultural
Services

Farm Service
Agency

1400 Independence
Ave, SW
Stop 0505
Washington, DC
20250-0505

Control Number: 6752951
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