(WASHINGTON, DC) After passing Congress with historic levels of support – 369-47 in the House and 87-13 in the Senate – the 2018 farm bill was signed into law today by President Donald Trump. In response, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp released the following statement.
“This is an important step forward for our country. The farm bill is the largest source of funding for conservation on private lands in the U.S. The bipartisan bill rewards farmers for fighting climate change, preparing for extreme weather and protecting water quality.
“That it passed Congress with historic margins demonstrates that conservation remains a bedrock American value. It’s a testament to the powerful results we can achieve when both sides of the aisle work together to forge solutions that allow people and nature to prosper.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) who championed a strong conservation title, and Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas) who delivered a record number of “yes” votes for a farm bill. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) began a critical dialogue about the value of agricultural data for scaling sustainability and managing risk. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Stabenow strengthened and streamlined public-private partnerships. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) ensured that the U.S. Department of Agriculture adapts quickly to science and technology advancements. These leaders stepped up at a critical moment for farmers and the environment.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
Highlights of the bill include:
- Conservation funding: The budget-neutral bill maintained full funding for conservation programs and will provide $6 billion per year for land and water conservation.
- Public-private partnerships: Annual funding of $300 million for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will bring nearly $3 billion in matching private dollars to the table to deliver water quality improvements at the watershed scale.
- Climate resilience: Annual funding of $25 million will launch on-farm conservation innovation trials, including a new soil health pilot project to help producers improve soil health and increase soil carbon.
- Data management: USDA will be required to issue a feasibility report on existing data about crop yields, conservation adoption and risk management.
Read this blog post for further analysis of the bill.
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