Lugar-Stutzman bill right on the safety net, wrong on conservation
Conservation of our natural resources to meet the long-term needs of our nation is a shared responsibility between farmers and the public. Cuts of 40 percent to these programs would put an unfair burden on farmers. Fiscal restraint and consolidation cannot be used to decimate the working lands programs our nation needs to ensure our farmers can feed ourselves and the world in the long run.
While we acknowledge that fiscal restraint is in order during these tough budget times, this level of cuts ignores the fundamental production challenges we face in feeding the projected nine billion people, and the related conservation obligations our nation must address.
U.S. farmers manage nearly half the land in this country,” Scholl says. “As the world population and market pressures mount, farmers will be motivated to intensify production on a decreasing land base. Conservation programs can help ensure that increased production does not lead to negative environmental consequences, or the degradation of the agricultural land base.
While the REFRESH farm bill proposal contains some very good ideas that we support, the damaging changes to conservation policy outweigh the benefits, so we cannot support the bill at this time.
American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development,