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Conservation Districts Unhappy With Farm Bill Language

The National Association of Conservation Districts says proposed parts of the 2007 Farm Bill threaten the locally-led conservation process.

The National Association of Conservation Districts urged members of the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday to reconsider portions of the proposed 2007 Farm Bill, stating that current language in the bill threatens the locally-led process and is not favorable to America's landowners and managers.

NACD President Olin Sims sent a letter to Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., again emphasizing the importance of a Farm Bill that allows customers to participate in Farm Bill conservation programs with ease and efficiency.

"Conservation districts have been pushing from the start of the debate for a Farm Bill that streamlines and consolidates programs and processes to make it easier for America's landowners to participate in conservation programs and implement effective practices," Sims says. "Unfortunately, the legislation proposed by the House further complicates producer requirements and threatens the locally-led process that is vital to applying conservation to the ground."

The Committee's proposal switches administration of the 2007 Farm Bill Conservation Programs from USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service to the Farm Services Agency. NACD says this would mean producers would have to work through various federal agencies in order to take part in conservation programs.

"We need a farm bill that brings conservation benefits to all producers and all agricultural lands," says Sims.

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