Support Conservation Funding in the Farm Bill!

The Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill in December, 2007, providing some important conservation funding increases.

The House and Senate now must reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill and produce a final bill for the president to sign. It's critical for Congress to produce a final bill that includes $5.1 billion in additional conservation program funding - the level provided in the Senate bill - and makes some reasonable reforms to farm subsidy programs.

Tell your Representatives and Senators not to cut funding for USDA's voluntary conservation incentives programs and to take that message to Congressional and Agriculture Committee Leadership.

Dear Representative/Senator,

I urge you to ensure that members of the House-Senate conference committee currently working to finalize the farm bill do not cut new funding for USDA's voluntary conservation incentives programs below the $5.1 billion provided in the Senate version of the bill.

The Farm Bill is the single largest source of conservation funding in the U.S. The Farm Bill's conservation programs are critical to helping farmers and ranchers enhance wildlife habitat and improve water and air quality. Our farm policies should reward, rather than reject, landowners when they offer to help by enrolling in USDA's voluntary conservation programs. Currently, roughly two out of three farmers who apply are rejected from these programs due to lack of funds.
Your leadership is needed to ensure that the additional conservation program funding provided by the Senate remains in the 2008 Farm Bill. Even with this increase, many conservation programs will remain significantly underfunded; it is therefore essential that the additional funding provided for the Farm Bill's conservation title not be reduced below the Senate level. Shifting some funds from commodity subsidies is one way to pay for these priorities.

[Your comments]

Please support these critical conservation priorities and make farmland stewardship the centerpiece of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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