Subcommittee evaluates the effectiveness of conservation programs
Today, Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, held the first hearing in a series designed to set the stage for the next farm bill. The subcommittee heard from a panel of witnesses, including farmers and ranchers, who shared their perspectives on the effectiveness of the conservation policies in the Agricultural Act of 2014 and implementation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I have seen our nation’s voluntary conservation initiatives undergo substantive changes over the past two decades, and I am proud of the work we have been able to accomplish. Voluntary conservation programs work largely because of the commitment our farmers, ranchers, and foresters have made to implementing these important conservation practices on their operations. As we begin our work on the next farm bill, conservation policy will continue to be based on voluntary, incentive-based practices that enable producers to continue preserving the land to enhance its long-term viability for the future,” said Subcommittee Chairman Lucas.“Those who make their living off the land understand just how crucial it is to preserve and protect our nation’s natural resources. As we begin to craft the next farm bill, it is important we recognize the environmental gains these producers continue to achieve through voluntary conservation. America's producers are voluntarily reducing soil erosion, increasing wetlands, improving water quality, and preserving farmland and wildlife habitats. This committee is consistently reminded that locally-led, voluntary conservation practices work, and I look forward to continuing to review our nation's conservation policies to ensure they work for rural America,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.
Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairman Lucas' opening statement and the archived webcast.
Mr. Chuck Coffey, Double C Cattle Company, Davis, OK, on behalf of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Mr. Timothy Gertson, Member, USA Rice Federation Board of Directors, Lissie, TX
Mr. Jeremy Peters, on behalf of Mr. Lee McDaniel, Immediate Past President, National Association of Conservation Districts, Darlington, MD
Mr. David Nomsen, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Pheasants Forever, Garfield, MN
Mr. John Piotti, President, American Farmland Trust, Washington, DC