At the Center for Rural Affairs, we are deeply engaged on the farm bill because of the enormous impact it has on rural communities. This is particularly true for conservation programs. Even though Congress passed a farm bill last year, there is still work to do in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This winter, USDA plans to release rules that serve as guidelines and instructions for how working lands conservation programs will be implemented. For farmers, ranchers, and constituents who want to see working lands conservation programs strengthened, the open comment periods are a valuable opportunity to share feedback with USDA.
The Center for Rural Affairs is developing materials to help you submit a comment on these rules. In November, a rule was released for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and the deadline to submit a comment is Jan. 13. CSP is USDA’s leading stewardship and land management program. To participate, farmers and ranchers must demonstrate a baseline level of conservation and have a plan for how to increase conservation on their operations. CSP offers them financial and technical assistance to do so.
Visit our website to learn more, and consider submitting a comment today.
Added to this blog Jan. 14, 2020
In December 2019, the USDA released a rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This sort of rule is released about once every five years, and acts as the blueprint for how the program will operate. If you are a farmer or rancher who has used EQIP, or is interested in it, we encourage you to write a comment on the rule. Click here to learn more.