Created: 7/28/10 (Wed) | Topic: Issues
Bill would help farmers and communities in Bay watershed
The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act (H.R. 5509) will help farmers while also benefitting communities in the bay’s watershed. The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the House Agriculture Committee to approve the bill when it comes up for consideration today.
“This bill is a commonsense approach to the work that is needed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “It offers an opportunity to improve water quality by working with farmers and ranchers. Perhaps most importantly, it provides a viable, effective alternative to other measures which view this problem as a ‘zero-sum’ game that would not just limit opportunities for agriculture in the watershed but would, in all likelihood, spell the end of agriculture for many farm families.”
The legislation provides important incentives and safeguards to farmers to implement additional conservation practices that go above and beyond regulatory compliance requirements, noted Stallman in a letter to committee members.
Interstate nutrient trading opportunities and an environmental assurance program are among the incentives outlined in the bill that would help farmers as well as their communities in the bay’s watershed.
“We believe this approach allows environmental improvements on the farm to go hand-in-glove with economic progress and a secure vibrant agriculture sector,” Stallman said.
AFBF and 27 other organizations representing a wide range of farm, livestock and poultry groups also sent a joint letter to leaders of the committee’s conservation subcommittee urging passage of H.R. 5509.
NDFB also has an Action Alert on the issue, encouraging Rep. Pomeroy to support this legislation.