Last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Dale Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Ducks Unlimited, to highlight the value of public-private conservation efforts and the record conservation results achieved by producer, landowners and the USDA since 2009.
USDA has partnered with more than 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners on these conservation projects since 2009 – a record number.
By protecting marginal cropland, preserving habitat and implementing environmentally friendly production methods, these efforts preserve the ability of America's farmers and ranchers to continue producing an abundant food supply in the years to come.
Conservation also strengthens outdoor recreation, which adds more than $640 billion every year to the economy, USDA says.
The Farm Bill represents the nation's largest investment supporting the voluntary and successful conservation, restoration and management of America's working lands.
USDA says a new Farm Bill would:
• Continue targeted conservation efforts through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
• Maintain key working lands programs including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.
• Continue participation in the Conservation Reserve Program.
• Help ensure that natural resource conservation continues on tens of millions of acres
Since 2009 there has been a total of 13,890,580 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in the United States. In Indiana alone there have 15,482 Conservation Reserve Program Contracts totaling 92,758 acres.
Many of these conservation efforts, and USDA's ability to continue working with farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect our environment, depend on Congressional passage of a new Farm Bill, USDA says.