WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 12, 2018 – On June 8, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry introduced their draft of the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, an important step in the process of reauthorizing the 2014 Farm Bill, which is due to expire Sept. 30.
Throughout this two-year process, the Senate has engaged with partners, stakeholders and producers through hearings, listening sessions and meetings, including a hearing in Frankenmuth, Michigan, where Ducks Unlimited testified in support of strong conservation provisions in the Farm Bill.
“We thank Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow for their work in developing a bipartisan Farm Bill that supports strong conservation of wetlands and wildlife,” Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said. “Without the help of our friends in agriculture, Ducks Unlimited would not be able to achieve our mission of widespread wetlands conservation for all Americans. We are committed to working with Congress to pass a Farm Bill that supports farmers and ranchers and ensures that future generations have access to the same natural resources and wildlife that we enjoy today.”
During the last Farm Bill process, the wildlife community, crop insurance industry and commodity organizations came together to support relinking of conservation compliance to crop insurance and defend against cuts to crop insurance. Ducks Unlimited is proud to see these important policy priorities continued in the Committee’s bill.
The Senate Farm Bill maintains full funding for the conservation title, including increased funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, a top priority for Ducks Unlimited and makes many significant improvements to working lands programs that will maximize benefits for wildlife.
The Senate draft also increased funding to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which leverages private dollars and partnerships with producers to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and natural resources at a local and regional level. With increased funding and program changes, DU is hopeful more conservation partnerships will emerge in other critical wildlife areas, including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions.
The Senate Agriculture committee is expected to consider the Farm Bill June 13. The House of Representatives is expected to bring their committee passed version of the Farm Bill up for a vote later this month. Ducks Unlimited looks forward to working with the Committee and their colleagues in the Senate and House to pass a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill for wildlife, wetlands, agriculture and all Americans.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.