Hornbeck Agricultural Group Urges Farmers to Speak Out Against Proposed EPA Regulations

DEWITT, AR--(Marketwire - July 20, 2009) - Founders of a soy-based biodiesel production facility in Arkansas are not content to simply worry about the potential harm federal regulations could have on their industry and American farmers.

Hornbeck Agricultural Group has taken an assertive position by investing in a large display advertisement in Delta Farm Press magazine to encourage soybean farmers to stand up against the proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules.

The Hornbeck ad takes aim at controversial "Indirect Land Use Change" rules proposed by EPA. The rules are based on the suspicion that using American-grown soybeans for biodiesel will dramatically influence soybean production in other countries.

"The American farmers are the ones who will be hurting if something isn't done. We wanted to do our part to make sure the EPA heard from soybean farmers, not just from the Washington lobbyists, lawyers, and bureaucrats," said Troy Hornbeck, a managing director of Hornbeck Agricultural.

"We had a choice. We could watch while flawed and harmful EPA regulations are adopted, or we could rally soybean farmers to speak out," he said. "We're family farmers, too, and we know farmers are concerned -- but they're also very busy. So we bought this ad, and we've set up a simple online process that lets farmers send their message to EPA."

The advertisement in the Delta Farm Press offers "an urgent message to soybean farmers of the Delta."

"Do you really want the EPA to tell you how to grow and sell your crops? It could happen -- unless we speak out today!" the headline declares.

The advertisement's text explains how the EPA has proposed regulations that discourage use of soy-based biodiesel by creating mounds of unworkable regulations and unnecessary paperwork that will stifle the industry and reduce the market for soybeans.

"EPA should not use shaky science to assume that raising soybeans for biodiesel in the U.S. encourages farmers in other countries to clear more farmland. And EPA's solution to this unproven problem should not be to penalize U.S. farmers with more regulation and red tape," Hornbeck said.

The ad, in the July 10 issue of the magazine, describes how the EPA fails to give adequate credit to soy-based biodiesel for reducing greenhouse gases. Biodiesel is proven to be one of the cleanest-burning fuels known, but the EPA proposes to give it minimal credit for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The advertisement also provides information that lets farmers submit comments to the EPA by sending an email to publicaffairs@hbkseed.com.

Any farmer who is interested in knowing more about the proposed EPA regulations and what they mean to their industry can also send an e-mail to publicaffairs@hbkseed.com

Hornbeck Agricultural Group, operated by third-generation family farmers in DeWitt, oversees the operations of several companies that are leading the way in agricultural innovation. Core businesses within the group include: Hornbeck Seed Company, one of the Mid-South's premier dealers of proprietary seed varieties of soybeans, rice and wheat; Worldwide SoyTechnologies, an industry leading soybean research center that focuses on developing superior quality soybean varieties; and Arkansas SoyEnergy Group, a soybean crushing and biodiesel plant that provides a new market for local farmers while helping make America more energy independent.

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