Cotton Co. farmer appointed to EPA committee excited to fight for rural communities

Cotton Co. farmer appointed to EPA committee excited to fight for rural communities

COTTON COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) - Advising the EPA on issues that affect rural communities is now the job of one Cotton County man recently appointed to a national committee.

Jimmy Kinder said he applied to be on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee about six months ago but because of the Coronavirus, the selection process was slowed down. He finally heard the good news a few weeks ago.

“I’m really excited to go take to Washington D.C. the ideas of rural Oklahoma,” Kinder said.

Kinder said as a farmer and rancher, he’s always been environmentally friendly. So, he wanted to join the committee to help spread that.

“This kind of fell into some of the EPA rules didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Someone really friendly said you know, if you’re going to complain, you might as well complain to the people who have some input. I believe the people at the EPA that we have now genuinely have our best interests at heart and they want to make good decisions and good rules for us,” Kinder said.

Kinder said as those rules are being made, he’s proud southwest Oklahoma will have a seat at the table.

“I’ve lived here all my life, I’ve lived in rural Oklahoma all my life so not only do I know agriculture issues, I know rural issues. We have some rural communities that are hurting right now and we want to make sure the EPA doesn’t do anything that necessarily harms them or burdens them unnecessarily with regulations,” Kinder said.

Going forward, the committee plans on meeting twice each year. Kinder says that opens up a valuable line of communication between Washington D.C. and southwest Oklahoma.

“Once I’m in DC I will hear about some issues or efforts that maybe our rural community needs to know about and to be ready for or have input with. It’s a two-way street so I’m encouraged I may be able to bring back information,” Kinder said.

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