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Calling All Conservation Heroes on Capitol Hill

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today, Environmental Working Group released a new research paper by conservationist Max Schnepf that looks at the history of America’s eroding conservation compact and how farmers view the long-standing deal between them and taxpayers. It examines the effectiveness of requiring conservation compliance in curbing soil erosion and finds that a solid majority of farmers agree that it is fair to implement practices that protect land and water in exchange for generous taxpayer support.

As Politico’s David Rogers wrote today:

“His [Schnepf’s] analysis avoids heated rhetoric and celebrates past progress while detailing bureaucratic failures that have contributed to what he sees as a real backsliding in enforcement.”

Debate on the next farm bill is underway in Washington, and some farm lobbyists are calling on lawmakers to throw out the 25-year bargain. Congress must do the right thing and ignore their pleas. The consequences of backing away from conservation efforts would be disastrous for the drinking water and soil that future generations will depend on.

We need conservation heroes on Capitol Hill – now more than ever.

Table Scraps:

-       Our food is under threat, for many reasons. Author Anna Lappe and songwriter Willie Nelson provide more detail in Why We Must Occupy Our Food Supply. Today, they joined tens of thousands of farmers and healthy food activists, parents and chefs for a Global Day of Action.

-       It will be another uphill battle for farm bill reform this year. As Des Moines Register’s Dan Piller explains in this piece, the powerful farm lobby’s clout remains strong.

-       Ag Week’s Jerry Hagstrom has more thoughts on EWG’s ethanol guide and campaign to give consumers more information about the new E15 gasoline blend that will put hundreds of millions of engine warranties at risk.

Tweet of the day:

@ObamaFoodorama

Wed: Vilsack & Merrigan unveil 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass' They're hosting live webinar/ 2PM ET. Ask Qs via @USDA w/ #KYF2

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