Farm Bill Conservation Programs Model Bipartisanship. Other Titles Should Too.

EDF statement from Callie Eideberg, Senior Policy Manager, Sustainable Agriculture

April 13, 2018
Hilary Kirwan, (202) 572-3277,

WASHINGTON, DC – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) yesterday released the text of the next farm bill, with committee markup expected next week.

“Overall, the farm bill’s conservation title reflects the long, bipartisan history of farm bills. We urge the committee to proceed with a similar approach for the entire bill and to stay within its jurisdiction. The Endangered Species Act, for example, should not be shoehorned into a farm bill.

“Farm bill conservation programs provide critical protection for land, water and wildlife, plus economic opportunities for producers. The bill takes steps in the right direction by increasing funding for voluntary, incentive-based conservation – a win for farmers and the environment. Such steps include streamlining public-private partnerships and focusing on soil health and water quality.

  • The Regional Conservation Partnership Program will receive $250 million per year in mandatory funding and be updated to incentivize collaboration between a broad range of stakeholders including agricultural retailers, nonprofit organizations and corporations.
  • The bill directs at least 10 percent of program dollars to be spent on source water protection, which is an important step for the long-term sustainability of farm productivity and the environment.

“We look forward to working with Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and members of the committee to improve the bill, deliver measurable conservation results at scale and make the best use of taxpayer dollars.”

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