Dear Sen. Fischer: Please support conservation and beginning farmer programs

The Center for Rural Affairs recently led an effort to gather farmers in support of conservation programs in the farm bill. Last week, this letter was sent to Sen. Deb Fischer, Nebraska's senior U.S. senator.

The Honorable Deb Fischer
454 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Fischer,

We are writing as farmers and ranchers in Nebraska to ask you to support conservation and beginning farmer programs in the upcoming farm bill. Investments in these areas today will provide valuable benefit to the Nebraska of tomorrow.

First, the conservation title of the farm bill offers vital investment in land stewardship. Conservation practices that build soil health, preserve clean water, and fortify pastureland protect the ability of next generation of farmers and ranchers to continue our agricultural traditions and raise crops and livestock in the great state of Nebraska. These practices also provide an important opportunity for farmers and ranchers to improve the resiliency of their land and reduce their risk during future droughts and other pressures.

Working lands conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, are particularly valuable in that they allow farmers and ranchers to adopt new conservation practices without halting production. These programs provide an invaluable pathway for farmers and ranchers to learn about practices that will build the health of their soil, crops, and livestock.

The future of Nebraska agriculture lies both in the land and in the people. The farmers and ranchers who are starting out today are the established producers of tomorrow. However, today’s beginners face a set of challenges unique to agriculture: they must access land, credit, risk management strategies, and education in order to build successful businesses. Programs that open a door to these important tools for beginning farmers are an investment in the future of Nebraska agriculture.

The farm bill is a critical piece of legislation that provides farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to preserve Nebraska’s agricultural future. We ask that you do everything you can to support and protect conservation and beginning farmer policy in the farm bill. This will help build a bright and better future for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities in our state.

Thank you,

Chris Armstrong, Dodge County
Brian Brhel, Lancaster County
Rodney Bromm, Burt County
Russell Bryant, Douglas County
Dennis Demmel, Keith County
Todd Eggerling, Lancaster County
Merlin Fick, Saunders County
Del Ficke, Seward County
Kevin Fulton, Sherman County
David and Cornelia Hansen, Custer County
Matthew Hendl, Seward County
Kerry Hoffschneider, York County
Steve Hollman, Lancaster County
Josh Hladik, Saunders County
Jim Knopik, Nance County
Carroll D. Marcellus, Holt County
Wyman McCain, Madison & Knox County
Steve McConnell, Lancaster County
Al Moravec, Butler County
Kim Mosel, Holt County
Wayne Panning, Dodge County
David and Jordan Rasmussen, Saunders County
Kevin Raun, Kearney County
Marnie Schieffer, Cedar County
Ben Schole, Dodge County
Diane Schroeder, Butler County
Mena Sprague, Howard County
Paul Swanson, Adams County
Gayland Regier, Gage County
George Rethmeier, Antelope County
Anthony Rohan, Dixon County
James Vanderloop Jr., Boone County
Gary Wolken, Madison County