USDA Requests Nominations for Ag Air Quality 
Task Force

USDA Requests Nominations for Ag Air Quality 
Task Force

HURON, S.D., March 7, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominees to its Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality Research. Established in 1996, the Task Force examines the intersection of agricultural production and air quality, and advises the Secretary on scientifically sound, cost-effective, federally-supported agricultural solutions that can help improve air quality. The USDA is seeking nominations from individuals, including agricultural producers, agricultural industry representatives, researchers, scientists and members of health and regulatory committees to apply for membership on the Task Force. 

“The Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality Research will help advance opportunities for agriculture to protect and enhance air quality while maintaining agricultural production,” said Tony Sunseri, South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist. “We are looking to the expertise of local farmers, ranchers, academia and other environmental professionals to help us identify solutions that can positively affect agricultural air quality. This work is critical for protecting the health of local communities and advancing climate-smart agriculture.”   

Applying for Membership 

Interested candidates may nominate themselves. Nominations should be typed and include the following:  

  • A brief summary (two pages or less) explaining the nominee’s qualifications to serve on the Task Force. 
  • A resume providing the nominee’s background, experience and educational qualifications. 
  • A completed background disclosure form (Form AD-755) signed by the nominee. 
  • Any recent publications by the nominee relative to agricultural air quality (if appropriate).
  • Letters of endorsement (optional).   

Nominations must be emailed or postmarked by May 5, 2023, to be considered. See notice for more information.   

The USDA is committed to ensuring that the Task Force is composed of members from diverse backgrounds, who have an interest and expertise in agriculture air quality issues. Equal opportunity practices, in line with the USDA policies, will be followed in all appointments.  

About the Task Force 

Created by the 1996 Farm Bill, the Task Force continues to promote USDA research efforts and identifies cost-effective ways the agriculture industry can improve air quality. Focus areas of the Task Force may include:   

  • Addressing reactive nitrogen emissions, including ammonia from agricultural sources, especially in relation to nitrogen deposition, greenhouse gas impacts, and ammonia’s role as a precursor to fine particulate matter formation.
  • Discussing agricultural greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration topics, including climate-smart agriculture and forestry options and sustainable solutions.
  • Providing guidance and recommendations to the Secretary regarding the impact on agriculture from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules and research, including the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and emissions estimating methodologies for livestock and poultry operations. 
  • Discussing state and local air quality regulations related to agriculture and the potential impact on agricultural operations in those areas. 
  • Providing recommendations for needed research related to agricultural air quality issues.
  • Ensuring that implementation of USDA practices, programs, and research for air quality and climate change promote environmental justice goals and exploring opportunities for improving the environment for all.

 The Chief of USDA’s NRCS chairs the Task Force.