Policy Plate: Coalition Fights for the Conservation Compact
A coalition of environmental and conservation groups sent a letter (PDF) yesterday (April 16) urging the leadership and ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to include the conservation compact between farmers and taxpayers in new farm subsidy programs.
As you renew food and farm policy, we urge you to renew our conservation compact with farmers by linking conservation compliance to all income support programs, including premium subsidies for crop and revenue insurance.
In exchange for a publicly funded safety net, farmers have for decades committed to adopt land management practices that reduce soil erosion and protect wetlands. Farmers managing more than 140 million acres of highly erodible land have implemented practices that reduced the amount of soil washed into streams from these lands by 40 percent. Wetland protections have helped slow the loss of valuable wetlands. This compact has served farmers, taxpayers and the environment very well and should be renewed in the 2012 Farm Bill.
- The Hagstrom Report, a by-subscription-only agriculture news site, quotes US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as saying: "Food stamps put more money in farmers' pockets than crop insurance and farm subsidies.”
- Polyface Farms owner Joe Salatin rebuts a New York Times’ opinion piece that ran under the headline, the “Myth of Sustainable Meat.”
- The New York Times’ “Room for Debate” series asks a panel of experts including Raj Patel and Jane Black, “Do We Need More Advice About Eating Well?”
- Marion Nestle writes in the Atlantic about “The Exceedingly Strange World of Federal Crop Insurance Subsidies”
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