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Protecting Iowa's Soil, Water, Air and Farmers

December 4, 2006

Glidden, IA - A proposal before the U.S. House of Representatives would put a $280 million limit on the popular Conservation Security Program (CSP) and force the USDA to either cancel the 2007 sign-up or drastically reduce plans already committed to by CSP participants. Steve Reinart is a farmer from Glidden who signed up in 2005; he hopes Congress will fully fund this "green payments" program.

"My definite concern is getting enough money to this program so it is very viable. I think it's an excellent program that might be able to wean us from some of these commodity programs and actually give the small family farmer a chance again."

Reinart believes the program not only helps Iowa farmers stay in business; it also improves watersheds that protect Iowa's water supply.

"It's not just the money, you also have to be environmentally sensitive and socially responsible."

Reinart says CSP has proven itself since it began in 2004 with some 20,000 producers in 280 watersheds enrolling 16 million acres to improve water quality, soil quality, wildlife and other resources.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA