Farm Bill News

A Rural Rock Star (and Conservation Champion) Retires

When Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) retired at the end of 2014, we lost an astute and dedicated champion for conservation, beginning farmers, livestock competition, organic and value-added agriculture, and renewable energy.
 
On conservation, without Senator Harkin and his staff’s leadership the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) would not exist today. He sponsored the original legislation and carried it through three farm bills, making improvements along the way. The senator also worked tirelessly to protect it from funding cuts.
 

Conservation Stewardship Program Improvements Needed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public comments on recent changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The program, the most significant leap in conservation policy in a decade, was designed to reward top-notch conservation already on the ground, as well as incentivize the integration of new and innovative conservation systems that protect and enhance the quality of our soil, water and air.

Congress Slashes Conservation

When thinking about the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, one might ask, what does Congress have against conservation?

They made huge cuts to conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) that supports conservation practices on cropland, pastureland and rangeland, totaling $402 million over ten years. This cut means 2.3 million fewer acres enrolled in the program.

This anti-conservation spending bill also cut the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $136 million for this fiscal year.

Congress takes Family Farmers and Ranchers for a Ride

What does Congress have against family farmers and ranchers? The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed last week included the full version of the so-called GIPSA rider passed earlier by the House of Representatives. A rider is a legislative provision attached to a larger spending bill.

Pages

Get the Newsletter