We invest, as a nation, in on-farm conservation practices that help to protect our water and air quality while producing healthy foods. But this investment is under attack by Congress. The House of Representatives just made an especially short-sighted mistake – one we have a chance to stop NOW.
Oregon Senator Merkley sits on an important committee in Congress that can SAY NO to the House’s short-sighted cuts and choose to KEEP funding in place for conservation!
Oregonians, can you make a call today and ask your Senator to protect the conservation funding levels provided by the 2014 Farm Bill?
Phone calls are the single most effective way to make your voice heard – and they are almost easier than sending an email! It takes just 60 seconds! Simply dial the number above and leave a message like this one below with the person who answers the phone:
“Hello, my name is _______ and I’m a constituent and a voter (and tell ‘em if you’re a farmer!). I would like to leave a message for the person who handles agriculture appropriations for Senator Merkley. Can you put me through to them, please?
[The message to deliver]: Please protect the mandatory farm bill funding for conservation programs by making NO CONSERVATION CUTS in the Senate agriculture budget for next year! Conservation is a win-win for farmers and for sustainability and needs more funding, not less. Thank you for your time.”
Let’s make sure that Congress hears what’s important for our future – make a call, then spread the word! When you call, tell us how it went in the form at the bottom of this page.
Too shy to call? How about tweeting:
@SenJeffMerkley Please protect farm bill funding for conservation programs by making NO conservation cuts in the Senate agriculture budget!
Here’s some more information about what happened:
A small group of legislators in the House are working on next year’s agriculture budget, and they decided to strip millions of dollars - and acres - from conservation programs that help farmers steward their land. This means farmers who WANT to do the right thing and improve their conservation practices will be turned away from help.
Know the old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?
Conservation programs for farmers are the ounce of prevention that saves us untold millions of dollars in damages and ensure a sustainable future for farmers and communities. And demand has never been higher for programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) - for every successful applicant, two farmers are turned away already due to lack of funding.
Farms that use smart conservation measures are more sustainable, more profitable, and more resilient to severe weather like drought. These farms' practices also help reduce pollution in communities nationwide and conserve limited resources like groundwater. A healthy climate, clean air, water, and soil are incalculable in their value to all of us.
And yet some members of Congress think conservation funding is a piggy bank to raid, not a critical investment in our nation’s farms and food security. We can stop this – by ensuring the Senate doesn’t follow in the House’s footsteps.
Want to learn more about conservation programs and other issues at stake right now? Read more at National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's website.