Welcome to the website for the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. This site serves as a repository of information about the task force, and provides public access to Federal Register notices, meeting minutes, reports and documents, and official communiqués from and about the Task Force.
First Meeting for 2016-2018 Agricultural Air Quality Task Force held in Arlington, Virginia
The 2016-2018 Agricultural Air Quality Task Force held its first meeting April 6-7 at the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. More information about the meeting is available under Meeting Information and Documents.
Tribute to Task Force Member Brock Faulkner
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Brock Faulkner on February 17, 2016, following a courageous two year battle with leukemia. Dr. Faulkner was a member of the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force since 2010. Dr. Faulkner served the AAQTF with honor, authored several papers, made significant recommendations, helped lead the Air Quality Standards Subcommittee, and was held in high esteem by all. He was a good friend to all people associated with the Task Force, and will be sorely missed. More information about Brock and his life can be found at a memorial page from the Texas A&M Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department.
Membership for 2016-2018 AAQTF Announced
The Secretary of Agriculture congratulates new and returning members of the Task Force! Read the full press release here.
The Task Force is composed of representatives from industry, agriculture, academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and other agricultural and environmental experts. Here are the members of the new AAQTF:
Members of the 2016-2018 task force are:
Marguerite Tan, LLC Farm Operations**
Kevin Abernathy, Milk Producers Council**
Cynthia Cory, California Farm Bureau Federation**
Manuel F. Cunha, Jr., Nisei Farmers League**
Samir Sheikh, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District**
Jeff Collett, Colorado State University**
Jon Slutsky, Producer**
April Leytem, USDA Agricultural Research Service**
Juan Tricarico, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy**
Yuanhui Zhang, University of Illinois**
Chris Petersen, Producer**
Charles Stanier, University of Iowa**
Clint Quarles, Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture**
Phil Silva, USDA Agricultural Research Service**
Annette Sharp, Louisiana Dept. Environmental Quality*
Lara Moody, The Fertilizer Institute**
Ana Rule, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health**
Jerry May, Producer**
Larry Jacobson, University of Minnesota*
Terry Spence, Producer*
Hal Kreher, Producer**
Patrick McCormick, Producer**
Sally Shaver, Shaver Consulting Inc.*
Lingjuan Wang Li, North Carolina State University*
Shafiqur Rahman, North Dakota State University**
Merlyn Hough, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency**
William Angstadt, Angstadt Consulting*
William Norman, National Cotton Council**
Brock Faulkner, Texas A&M University**
Kelley Green, Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association**
Anissa Purswell, Enviro-Ag Engineering**
Bryan Shaw, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality*
Ben Weinheimer, Texas Cattle Feeders Association**
Brian Cochrane, Producer**
Nichole Embertson, Whatcom Conservation District*
* One year term
** Two year term
Task Force Mission
The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force has been created in accordance with Section 391 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996, which directs the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, to establish a task force to address agricultural air quality issues.
The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) was established to comply with Congress and consists of leaders in farming, industry, health, and science. In 1996, Congress found that various studies have alleged that agriculture is a source of PM10 emissions and that many of these studies have often been based on erroneous data. Congress also cited ongoing research by the Department of Agriculture and that federal policy, in regard to air pollution, be based on sound scientific findings that are subject to adequate peer review and take into account economic feasibility. The Secretary of Agriculture was charged to ensure that Departmental federal air quality research not report erroneous data.