National Wildlife Federation Working with Farmers and Ranchers for 2012 Farm BillFri, 09 Sep 2011 14:14:35 CDT
The writing of the 2012 Farm Bill has been on a lot of minds lately, with concerns about funding and exactly what programs will be hit the hardest. Julie Sibbing, Director of Agricultural Programs for the National Wildlife Federation, was visiting Oklahoma this week to talk with Congressman Frank Lucas's people on the importance of conservation in the 2012 Farm Bill.
The agricultural program with the National Wildlife Federation is structured around wildlife, however, Sibbing says one of its goals is to figure out how to work with agriculture in both ranching and production agriculture. If the conservation title is cut in the 2012 Farm Bill, there is the possibility that many of their programs that are helpful to farmers and ranchers, like the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program and the Grasslands Reserve Program, will be effected.
The Grassland Reserves Program, an easement program, has been a fairly popular program across Oklahoma because it does not take the land out of production. In fact, it helps keep the land in the production through ranching because cattle are compatible with good wildlife, says Sibbing. Sibbing also says the NWF hopes to see more programs like the Grasslands Reserve Program so that it will be more economically viable for ranchers to continue ranching.
Other programs, like the Conservation Reserve Program, have proven successful in the past in helping wildlife. The CRP land has been cut over the years from 39 million acres to 32 million acres and Sibbing says there is a chance they will be cut again in the 2012 Farm Bill. Sibbing also says if the CRP acres are cut then it will cause immeasurable damage.
Finally, Sibbing says that everyone is trying to get their piece of the pie when it comes to funding but conservation will help put money in the pocket of farmers and help them earn more money for their operations.
Click on the LISTEN bar below to hear the rest of Ron Hays and Julie Sibbing's discussion on the 2012 Farm Bill, conservation, and how the two can work together. Also, you can hear more from Ron and Julie on KWTV News 9 during the In the Field segment at 6:40 a.m. on Sept. 10.
Click here for more information on the 2012 Farm Bill and Conservation.
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