WASHINGTON, DC–January 27, 2014–National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Earl Garber praised Farm Bill conferees for their leadership in passing a strong conference report out of committee.
"The conference report is evidence of a strong, bipartisan understanding of the true value that conservation brings to the landscape and to the economy," said Garber. "We appreciate the conferees' recognition of the importance of on-the-ground conservation and delivery – not only through words, but by providing an increase in funding and the establishment of permanent baselines to critical programs such as EQIP. We could not be more pleased by the leadership of Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas and the rest of the members of the committee."
The conference report included two of NACD's top Farm Bill priorities: 1) conservation compliance tied to crop insurance, and 2) language to streamline the conservation Technical Assistance (TA) delivery process.
Throughout the Farm Bill process, NACD has been a vocal leader supporting the linking of conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance. "Linking conservation compliance to crop insurance will further the conservation of natural resources, while protecting producers' bottom line," said Garber.
NACD has also been an advocate for changes to streamline the TA delivery process by giving decision-making authority to the Secretary of USDA for effective implementation of conservation programs.
NACD is calling on all parties invested in conservation to urge their members of Congress to vote affirmatively on the Farm Bill.
"Our nation's farmers and landowners deserve to have long-term certainty to effectively and efficiently manage their land, resources and businesses for the years ahead," stated Garber. "Locally-led conservation is critical for America's long-term environmental and economic stability. Not only do Farm Bill conservation programs play a key role in supporting clean air, clean water and productive soils, they also help producers avoid unnecessary regulation and promote our nation's long-term economic and food security."