Grassroots Advocacy

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NACD knows how crucial it is for your senators and representatives to hear from you on the issues important to conservation districts. See below for information on how to reach out to your members of Congress, and consult NACD’s Issue Papers page for additional resources. If you have any questions about NACD’s advocacy efforts, contact NACD Director of Government Affairs Coleman Garrison. Interested in subscribing to our grassroots advocacy mailing list? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Farm Bill Outreach

As the conference committee to combine the House and Senate farm bills moves forward, it is important that your Members of Congress, especially those on the conference committee, hear from you on what is important. Below is the full list of the Members on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.

Two of the biggest issues we are communicating to the conference committee are the need for strong federal funding for conservation programs at USDA and the protection of the locally-led conservation delivery process supported by conservation districts across the country, however there are many more issues we are paying attention to. Visit the NACD Farm Bill webpage to find supplemental resources on both versions of the bill, as well as the letter NACD sent to the conferees outlining the organization’s legislative priorities.

Click here for a template letter to send to your Members of Congress that can be edited as you see fit. See below to determine who your Representatives are and the process for sending a letter/email. View NACD’s letter to the farm bill conferees here.

Strong Funding for the Conservation Title (Title II)

We know that without proper funding and investments in conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), we are not able to implement as many conservation practices on the ground. NACD’s message has been consistent that this next farm bill must not reduce overall Title II funding below the 2014 Farm Bill if we are to continue improving our nation’s natural resources. NACD is strongly encouraging the conference committee to maintain funding for the Conservation Title in the final farm bill that will be signed into law.

Protection of Locally-Led Conservation Delivery

Through the proposed creation of new initiatives, set-aside requirements and grant programs, the next farm bill may end up circumventing the locally-led conservation delivery system.

Conservation programs work best when decisions on how dollars are spent and what natural resources need to be addressed are made at the local level. Federal requirements that a certain percentage of program funds address one specific issue dilute the local decisionmaking conservation districts were created to encompass. Even more concerning, the Senate bill creates a new grant program that diverts 30% of Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) dollars, potentially over $100 million, away from the locally-led conservation delivery system by putting private partners in charge of delivering conservation. This would not only bypass districts but could have great unintended consequences since producers will no longer have to be the recipient of the financial assistance. NACD is urging the conference committee to reject this grant program and other policy changes that limit locally-led conservation.

2018 Farm Bill Conferees

Senate

Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
John Boozman (R-AR)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Joni Ernst (R-IA)

Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

House

Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA)
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Austin Scott (R-GA)
Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Ted Yoho (R-FL)
David Rouzer (R-NC)
Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Jodey Arrington (TX)

Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN)
David Scott (D-GA)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
Tim Walz (D-MN)
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Filemon Vela (D-TX)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Ann Kuster (D-NH)
Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)


How to Send Your Letter:

The best way to send a letter is via e-mail (due to security protocols, mailed letters often take several weeks to arrive).

 To e-mail your member of Congress, use the find your member steps below and click on the “Contact Us” portion of their website.

  • Some members may have a direct email address or a web portal to submit your letter. Otherwise you can copy and paste the letter.
  • If it is the web portal, please fill out all the required information and copy and paste your letter into the word box.

How to Find Your Member of Congress:

House of Representatives:

  • Click on the following link and input your zip code.
  • If you need your full 9-digit zip-code, go to the Postal Service’s link here.

 Senate:

  • Click on the following link and look up your state.

Additional Resources:

  • NACD’s testimony to House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry: Conservation Policy
  • NACD’s testimony to House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry: Impacts of Environmental Regulations and Voluntary Conservation Solutions

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