WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2012— More than 640 organizations sent a letter to the Senate and House leadership of the Agriculture Committees supporting the Conservation Title for the 2012 Farm Bill.

“I am proud to stand with conservationists from all 50 states as we call for a strong Conservation Title in the 2012 Farm Bill,” said President of American Farmland Trust (AFT) Jon Scholl. “We must have the most robust conservation spending possible to give farmers the programs they need to protect our farm and ranch land and to help keep our soils, water and other natural resources in the best condition possible.”

The letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Ks.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and his committee counterpart, Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), describes Conservation Title programs implemented through cooperative agreements and partnerships between USDA and private landowners. The letter adds that this model makes conservation an engine of economic growth by advancing agriculture, forestry and outdoor recreation.

“The result is real conservation with multiple benefits for every region of America,” states the letter. “Not the least of these is helping landowners to stay on the land as stewards of America’s legacy of natural resources.”

The organizations recognize that difficult decisions will be made while Congress works to reduce the federal deficit, noting, “…the proposal by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in the Budget Control Act last year demonstrates that the Conservation Title can continue to meet vital national needs while sharing in budget reductions.”

“We must keep moving forward, despite the fiscal challenges,” said Scholl. “It’s time to recognize that the Conservation Title is a crucial strategic investment that underpins our health and prosperity today—one that will only gain in importance as we face increasing agricultural and environmental challenges in coming decades.”


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