Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced major conservation achievements in 2004 resulting from USDA voluntary conservation programs for private lands in remarks to the National Association of Conservation Districts.

"Investments in conservation contribute to an increased quality of life for all Americans through cleaner air, soil and water and improved wildlife habitat," said Johanns. "Through the Bush Administration's cooperative conservation efforts, landowners are working in partnership with the government to produce tangible results, conserving natural resources for this generation, our children and our grandchildren."

USDA offers a portfolio of conservation programs that give producers the technical and financial assistance they need to develop more effective conservation plans that improve the environment and help rural communities. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are in charge of USDA's conservation programs for private land management and environmental stewardship.

These 2004 conservation benefits and successes, along with the President's conservation budgets, support a continued cooperative conservation effort that gives farmers and ranchers the ability to become the best stewards of the land. In keeping with that vision, President Bush has proposed a strong budget for conservation efforts in fiscal year 2006, including $3.8 billion to continue implementation of the conservation programs authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. These funds will allow USDA, landowners and operators to build on a tremendously strong record for cooperative, voluntary conservation.

Detailed information and performance data on NRCS voluntary conservation programs at the national and state levels can be found at and on FSA programs at

Source: Government Release