Farm Policy News

Public invited to comment on new Conservation Stewardship Program rule

Changes are coming to the nation’s largest conservation program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comments on a new rule.

On Nov. 12, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which offers farmers and ranchers a valuable opportunity to build on and increase conservation on their operations.

Our recommendations to make EQIP more accessible and streamlined

Since 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs has advocated for conservation as a valuable tool for farmers and ranchers to establish and grow their operations, including supporting programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

With passage of the farm bill in December 2018, the Center for Rural Affairs’ attention turns to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is responsible for enacting the farm bill.

What about our farmers?

Earlier this year, in the midst of a trade war with China, President Donald Trump announced a $16 billion agriculture bailout, telling Americans, via Twitter, the biggest beneficiaries would be “our great Patriot Farmers.”

Recent news reports, however, indicate foreign companies are getting a substantial amount of the bailout dollars.

Bernt family lives by their farm motto: producing healthy foods for healthy families

Clear Creek Organic Farm, in Spalding, Nebraska, hosts more than crops and livestock.

The Bernt family has run the operation for more than 125 years and in that time, it has grown to not only include the traditional elements of a farm, but now also hosts recreational events, such as a recent concert benefiting Nebraska flood victims, and a tanking business along the Cedar River.

 

RMAP has provided small business support in 45 states

Thirty-one organizations signed a letter on Oct. 17 requesting members of the House and Senate appropriations committees and agriculture appropriations committees to fund the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), a farm bill program, in 2020.

Members of the committees will soon negotiate 2020 appropriations. In the letter, the organizations ask that Congress members stand up for RMAP and support rural communities by ensuring $6 million in appropriated funding remains available for RMAP.

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