Thursday, December 2, 2021

Play

Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.

Play

The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Farm Bill Expiration Stalls Conservation Efforts on Farms

Play

Monday, October 8, 2018   

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas — While Senators were moving forward with the confirmation of the next Supreme Court justice, what wasn't moving on Capitol Hill was the Farm Bill that expired a week ago.

While the legislation largely stalled over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the people who grow the food and livestock that feed us all also were impacted. One of them is Texas Rancher Karl Ebel, owner of Ebel Grasslands Ranch. He has used conservation funds to improve irrigation efficiency on his land.

"If the Farm Bill conservation funds are pulled back, guys that are trying to embrace new conservation ideas and methods, they need a push or incentive to try those methods,” Ebel said.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, Texas farmers received $116 million in conservation funding in 2016 alone, and $3.5 billion over the last 10 years. Until Congress reaches an agreement on the Farm Bill, conservation programs will be in limbo, with many already having received the funding for projects, but not having the authority to move forward.

Conservationists are urging Congress to keep funding levels strong and maintain wildlife protections for endangered species. Aviva Glaser, director of agriculture policy with the National Wildlife Federation, said these types of conservation programs help keep farms and ranches in private hands, while protecting wildlife habitat and water quality for future generations.

"It could be a lot harder to get into conservation programs if there's less funding available,” Glaser said. “So you're not able to make as much progress, you're not able to recruit new farmers and ranchers to programs if you have less funding, so it would be very problematic."

Ebel said the momentum lost while a compromise is sought is hard at a time when the agricultural industry is close to embracing conservation and reaping the rewards.

"It's a long-term type view of your land. Conservation is something that producers, but also farmers, are just now trying to take a look at,” Ebel said. “They're starting to understand that that can make a positive impact on their bottom line."

There's no word on when Congress may take up the Farm Bill, but it's not expected to be taken up again until after the midterms in the lame-duck session of Congress. Negotiators have had trouble coming to agreement up to this point.


get more stories like this via email

Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …


Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …

Environment

GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021