Clean Water & Air
Farming is a unique endeavor. It’s one of the few businesses where two, three or even five generations of family members continue to own and operate their family businesses. Farmers and ranchers must take a long-term view if the land is to thrive.
In the coming decades, we face critical food and farm challenges. With a global population anticipated to reach 10 billion, we will need to produce more with less, nearly doubling production with less land, less water and fewer inputs. Farmers and ranchers, if engaged properly, hold the key to solving a lot of the environmental challenges we face. In fact, without them it is unlikely we can solve these challenges at all.
Conservation Programs in the Next Farm Bill
Improve the quality of ground and surface waters
Water quality concerns stemming from agricultural production are among our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. Indeed, many farmers and ranchers indicate regulatory pressure and corporate pressure on this issue are intense. Without federal government focus, it is difficult to see how that pressure decreases or how we constructively solve the problem.
Conserve ground and surface waters
Working lands across the country are facing increasing concerns about water quantity in addition to water quality issues. Drought conditions and competition with residential, municipalities and industrial or mining uses all present real threats to agriculture and its viability.
Protect air quality
Dust storms, certain emissions, smoke from forest fires and other particulate matter can cause public health risks. Constructive actions by farmers and ranchers have potential to reduce such risks and federal conservation programs can provide the incentives to help protect air quality.
Smarter Programs for a Healthy Future
Our nation cannot meet these challenges with half-measures. The conservation title in the next farm bill must be transformative. We must make the conservation programs more efficient, focused, cost-effective, and results-oriented. To achieve these aims, we recommend the following solutions: