Subcommittee Reviews USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs

Apr 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research held a hearing to review USDA Farm Bill conservation programs. Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania is Chairman of the Subcommittee.

"In the 2002 farm bill, we funded the most significant programs in order to preserve farmland and improve soil and water quality," said Chairman Holden.  "The hearing today reminded us that despite budget constraints we must continue to support important programs for farmers and ranchers who want to implement conservation practices on their land."

Conservation programs in the 2002 Farm Bill address farmland preservation, wetlands restoration, wildlife habitat, and soil and water issues.  The Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research Subcommittee is one of six House Agriculture subcommittees involved in reauthorization of the Farm Bill, including the bill's conservation title, Title II.

"No one has more at stake in protecting our land than farmers.  We made great strides in the 2002 Farm Bill in helping farmers as stewards of the land by increasing the funding for conservation programs.  This input today will help us improve these programs in the next farm bill," said Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.

Witness testimony is available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.

Witness List:

Panel I

Mr. Jeff LaFleur, Executive Director, Cape Cod Cranberry GrowersÆ Association, on behalf of New England Farmers Union and National Farmers Union, Wareham, Massachusetts

Mr. Charles "Jamie" Jamison, National Corn Growers Association, Dickerson, Maryland

Mr. Lawrence Elworth, Executive Director, Center for Agricultural Partnerships, Asheville, North Carolina

Mr. Joel Nelsen, President, California Citrus Mutual, Exeter, California

Mr. Steve Foglesong, National Cattleman's Beef Association, Astoria, Illinois

Mr. Douglas Wolf, Wolf L&G Farms, LLC., on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council, Lancaster, Wisconsin

Mr. Slade Lail, American Tree Farm System, Plumbdent Farms, Duluth, Georgia

Panel II

Mr. David E. Nomsen, Vice-president of Governmental Affairs, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, on behalf of Agriculture and Wildlife Working Group and the American Wildlife Conservaiton Partners, Garfield, Minnesota

Mr. Ralph Grossi, President, American Farmland Trust, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Olin Sims, President, National Association of Conservation Districts, McFadden, Wyoming

Mr. Thomas W. Beauduy,  Deputy Director & Counsel, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Mr. Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C.

Ms. Loni Kemp, Senior Policy Analyst, The Minnesota Project, Canton, Minnesota