Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) released policy recommendations for the 2023 Farm Bill. Over the last year, NACD’s Farm Bill Task Force has convened more than a dozen times to review USDA conservation programs and consider policies to strengthen support for voluntary, locally led conservation efforts. The recommendations were recently approved by NACD’s Board by Directors at NACD’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
NACD’s most important priority is for Congress to keep conservation investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in farm bill conservation programs. The 2023 Farm Bill provides Congress with an important opportunity to integrate IRA conservation funding into the conservation title to administer these investments over a longer period of time, make bipartisan decisions on the exact funding allocations within the title, and eliminate administrative and management redundancies. This request is critical to addressing the high unmet demand for NRCS conservation programs, which are currently only able to serve about one in every three eligible producers.
To support locally led conservation efforts, the recommendations also push back against one-size-fits-all policies, the addition of national carve-outs within programs, and limitations on conservation practices. NACD also calls on Congress to provide strong support for historically underserved producers, tribes, and the development of our nation’s conservation workforce.
“NACD will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to develop an inclusive farm bill that provides strong support for conservation,” said NACD President Kim LaFleur. “The 2023 Farm Bill provides an exciting opportunity to strengthen federal conservation programs, bolster our local conservation delivery systems, and support our nation’s producers.”
“As Chair of NACD’s Farm Bill Task Force, I am proud of the work we’ve done over the past year to review conservation programs, consider input from our members and other stakeholders, and develop policy positions that support sustainable, productive working lands” said NACD’s Immediate Past President Michael Crowder. “I look forward to advocating for an effective, locally led approach to conservation as Congress develops the 2023 Farm Bill.”
Visit NACD’s website to view the 2023 Farm Bill Recommendations.