Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA Urges Full Funding For Farm Bill Conservation Programs

December 10, 2013

Harry Campbell, PA Office Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Friday wrote to Pennsylvania Congressman Glenn Thompson urging him to support full funding for conservation programs in the federal Farm Bill now the subject of conference committee negotiations between the Senate and House.Thompson chairs the U.S. House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry and is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit.The text of the letter follows—“Thank you for your continued work to negotiate a federal Farm Bill, and we urge you to do all you can to help Pennsylvania farms to continue their efforts to be good stewards of water while remaining economically viable.“As with previous communications to you regarding the Farm Bill negotiations, we are sharing success stories from two Pennsylvania farms that have relied on USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services programs, created in previous Farm Bills, to restore local waters and improve their farms’ ability to sustain profitability for the long-term.“Mike Marquardt’s cover crops, no-till cultivation, careful manure management, and streamside forest are all helping to maintain Penns Creek as a world-class trout fishery. Not only is this Centre County farmer helping water quality in Penns Creek, but by assuring this stream remains a world-renowned fishery his work also is an asset to the community’s economy.“In Bradford County, Randy and Tina Kuhn established a streamside forest to filter nutrients and sediment from the runoff entering a pond and stream, and now see that the pond is a healthy environment for fish and other wildlife while also providing their livestock access to clean drinking water. Their farm produces meat, poultry, eggs, vegetables and eggs which they sell directly to consumers. Having a healthy soils and clean water is essential to their success.“Both of these farms relied on programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to establish these practices. The technical and financial assistance these farms and so many other farms in Pennsylvania relied upon helped make these practices possible.“These farms are but two of the thousands of farms in Pennsylvania that can be called Farm Bill “success stories.” Their stories can be the story of thousands of other farmers with a strong conservation-based Farm Bill.”A copy of the letter is available online.  Click Here to see more details on the Marquardt farm conservation measures.  Click Here to read more about the Kuhn farm streamside forest buffer. For more information, visit CBF’s Federal Farm Bill webpage.