Conservation Districts Take Firm Stand Against Cuts to Farm Bill Programs Proposed by White HouseTue, 06 Mar 2018 12:02:55 CST
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn spoke recently with leaders form the National Association of Conservation Districts about how the development of current farm policy in Washington, DC is impacting their organization. He caught up with Michael Crowder, second vice president of NACD and was also joined by Jeremy Peters, the association’s CEO, during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif. held this past week. You can listen to their complete conversation to hear their thoughts on recent policy topics, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Aside from other issues that have cropped up during the early stages of the 2018 Farm Bill’s drafting, one certainly struck a chord with the members and leadership of the NACD. That, of course, being the significant cuts to conservation programs proposed by President Trump in his budget outline. Crowder expressed his concern on the matter and why the move was so disappointing to him.
“We were disappointed over the really large cuts in conservation, but we’re working hard with our districts and our folks in DC to make sure that our voice and that of farmers and ranchers are heard for conservation in the US,” Crowder said, explaining that it is Congress that ultimately decides the budget and not the President. He continued, sharing a recent discussion with Oklahoma Congressman and conservation sub-chair Frank Lucas during which he relayed NACD’s expectations. “We had a pretty frank discussion on what we’re hoping to see on the Farm Bill. We want to make sure there’s no more cuts made further than what were taken in the last Farm Bill.”
Peters added that NACD was taking a very strong stance with that position, to do no harm to the current budget constraints on the conservation title.
“We have to have funds available,” he said. “We need strong technical assistance to make sure the personnel and the boots on the ground are there to get the job done. And, we need the financial assistance to make sure the landowners have the proper incentives to go out and sign up for the programs they need to conserve soil, protect water and improve wildlife habitat.”
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