Expanded Conservation Assistance for Family Farmers

| November 29, 2001

Expanded Conservation Assistance for Family Farmers?Environmental Working Group
A proposed bill is aiming to reform farm subsidies by expanding conservation assistance, reports the Environmental Working Group. Two-thirds of government agricultural subsidies currently goes to the wealthiest 10 percent of agribusiness, while the majority of farmers who ask for help in conservation farming measures are turned down. By guaranteeing farmers in each state a specific dollar amount for conservation needs, the proposed Reid-Leahy bill would increase subsidies for farmers interested in conservation practices. Conservation practices that preserve wetlands and cut down on runoff are already popular with farmers -- as demonstrated by a $2 billion national backlog -- and the EWG hopes Congress will pass the legislation, which is expected to move to the floor before the end of the term.
--Kate Garsombke
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