Working Landscapes: America’s Farm & Food Bill
A program to provide farmers with assistance implementing conservation practices
Sunset over the irrigation equipment on the Boot Ranch in Douglas, Wyoming.
Photo: Shane Cross
Family farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists. For centuries, they’ve been taking action to leave the land in a better state than they found it. Farmers care about the overall well-being of the environment, and their livelihoods depend on it - healthy soil, water, air, and wildlife and reliable weather patterns are essential for food production. But they can’t accomplish conservation goals on their own, as they often lack the financial, material, and educational resources to do so. Farmers need the expertise and support of researchers and extension specialists as well as local and federal agencies. The Farm Bill’s conservation title programs provide farmers with technical and financial assistance to implement practices that conserve natural resources; protect wildlife; improve soil, water, and air quality; and enhance on-farm sustainability. These programs aren’t just about the environment - they can help keep farmers in business, too. By rewarding farmers for achieving conservation benefits, conservation programs can diversify and stabilize farm income. This, in turn, can increase farmers’ resistance to economic uncertainties, keeping them on the land for generations to come.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary cost-share program that encourages producers to improve soil, water, wildlife, air, and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers for the implementation of conservation practices that address certain natural resources concerns on their land.
Conservation Stewardship Program
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) awards producers performance incentive payments to maintain existing conservation practices on their operations and to implement additional practices. Applications are ranked based on previous conservation achievements and the extent to which future projects address local and national resource priorities.
Conservation Reserve Program
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) awards producers rental payments for setting aside environmentally sensitive. Participants must meet management requirements to ensure the reserved land achieves conservation benefits.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) offers opportunities for the NRCS, conservation partners and agricultural producers to work together to harness innovation and demonstrate the value and efficacy of voluntary, private lands conservation. NRCS implements RCPP conservation program contracts and easement agreements through existing NRCS programs authorities including EQIP, CSP and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
We need strong conservation programs that ensure farmers and ranchers are able to conserve, manage, and enhance natural resources while increasing the productivity and sustainability of their operations.
Funding for working lands conservation programs is important to that promote active stewardship and locally-led conservation activities in Wyoming.
It is important for leadership of the state of Wyoming to support programs like the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill that enhance the sustainability and conservation benefits provided by our Western working lands.
Take action: tell the candidates for Wyoming governor you support the America's Farm & Food Bill.