The Ag and Wildlife Working Group sent a letter to the agricultural leadership of Congress commending them for reaching a framework bill to move the process of writing a new farm bill forward and urged them to pass a bill by the deadline of April 18.
"We wanted to use this letter to reiterate the position that we've been taking throughout this process," says Brad Redlin, director of agricultural programs for the Izaak Walton League of America, which is part of the coalition. "That is to prioritize the needs for conservation in the farm bill. We support farm families throughout the country and we think conservation is one of the key vehicles for providing the support they need and for achieving the things that all citizens in the country need."
Redlin says it is imperative that money above baseline be included in the farm bill and that a new bill is passed. According to Redlin programs such as the Wetlands Reserve Programs and Grassland Reserve Program are receiving no money in the current baseline. If a long-term extension of the current Farm Bill occurs, these programs and others could be eliminated.
"Our members hope this framework signals a final farm bill is in reach," Redlin says. "The time is now for Congress to finish its job and pass a Farm Bill prioritizing the protection and enhancement of our nation’s natural resources for the benefit of farm families, the country’s consumers, and all citizens."