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EPA Administrator praises efforts by California, tomato farmers and Protected Harvest

Release Date: 8/23/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307;

SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson encouraged cooperative conservation through sustainable farming practices today at an event held at the California Environmental Protection Agency in downtown Sacramento. The event included a grant presentation by the California Water Quality Control Board to Protected Harvest, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable farming practices.

The $425,000 grant will help fund a program that teaches farmers to look at the whole farming cycle from planting and growing to harvesting and marketing. Tomato farmers can adopt these practices that will help them preserve the soil, promote pesticide management, and protect farm workers, allowing them to receive Protected Harvest certification for their products.

"From the farm land to the dinner table, agriculture plays an important role in America's economy, conservation, health and well-being," said Johnson. "By building strong working relationships with the farming community that promote the best conservation and health protection practices, EPA and others can help provide market incentives for environmentally friendly processes."

Seeking better and broader conservation in the 21st Century, President George W. Bush signed the Executive Order on Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation a year ago. This order directs the federal agencies that oversee environmental and natural resource policies and programs to promote cooperative conservation in full partnership with states, local governments, tribes, and individuals. In keeping with the spirit of the Executive Order, EPA is collaborating with federal, state and local governments on a variety of projects across the country.

The EPA will join its federal partners in co-hosting a public-private forum to exchange information about successful partnerships in cooperative conservation. During the conference, EPA will highlight the agency's efforts to cooperate on all levels of government and with non-governmental organizations. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock will head the agency delegation at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation Aug. 29- 31 in St. Louis, MO.

Media with valid press credentials are invited to register for the conference at: For more information on the conference agenda, access: For all media logistics questions, please contact Megan Barnett, 202-456-6224.