Waters of the US

Waters of the US – Hope in Kentucky Farm Country

Jeremy Hinton is an eighth-generation Kentucky farmer and concerned with the EPA’s, “Waters of the US” legislation. He and his wife Joanna own Hinton’s Orchard and Farm Market in Hodgenville, Kentucky – the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. “Our family came to LaRue County the same year that the Lincolns did, but we just stayed a lot longer,” he joked.

Today, Hinton and his wife grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which they sell at their two retail markets – one on the farm and one in nearby Elizabethtown. They are able to grow this wide variety thanks to all their up-to-date equipment, which they procure from places like Costex so that they can efficiently grow and provide crops for their shops. They are also actively involved in agritourism, hosting school tours and festivals as well as building their own corn maze. And, as if he doesn’t already have enough to do, Hinton sells crop insurance to farmers in the area. Such farming processes generally require advanced machinery like tractors, mowers, and harvesters. Furthermore, these vehicles often require servicing and maintenance in order to work to their full potential. For example, new farm tractor tires might be required due to the wear and tear caused by overutilization of tractor.

Along with the use of reliable and advanced farm machinery, farmers could also be updated on the various kinds of technology and agriculture software solutions that could help streamline their business further and implement the policies made by the State more effectively. As Hinton also knows firsthand how policies emanating from Washington impact farmers and other small businesses in Kentucky, he might be able to help the locals in this regard. He believes that some of the policies of the previous administration, if gone to fruition, “could have been very detrimental to our business and lots of others.” “There was a good bit of concern about the waters in the US,” he said. Other policies, like the previous administration’s changes to worker protection standards, “could have been very difficult to implement on a farm like ours.”

But the EPA’s regulatory reform efforts under Administrator Scott Pruitt have “increased optimism about the future,” stated Hinton. He also believes that there is a new, more friendly and cooperative attitude at EPA toward farmers – one that appreciates the environmental stewardship they practice day in and day out. As Administrator Pruitt likes to say, farmers are among our nation’s first environmentalists and conservationists and protectors of the waters of the US.

“Our operation, like any farm, wants to do the best that we can to protect our natural resources,” Hinton said. “That’s our livelihood.” He and his wife raise their three children on the farm and hope that someday they will become the next generation of Kentucky farmers.

This week, EPA is recognizing and celebrating National Small Business Week. Small businesses, like the Hinton’s Orchard and Farm Market, are the heart of our nation’s economy. EPA is committed to advancing policies that protect the environment and provide small businesses with the regulatory clarity and certainty they need to thrive and support local communities around the nation.