Farmers CARE Act Aims to Upgrade Farm Bill Conservation Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Friends of the Earth endorsed the Farmers CARE (Conserve Agricultural Resources and the Environment) Act introduced by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.).
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer financial cost-share and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices to protect soil, water and other natural resources.
The Farmers CARE Act would improve EQIP by:
- Prioritizing spending on farm practices that demonstrably improve the quality of the environment;
- Eliminating payments to Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) for animal waste facilities;
- Setting aside funding for habitat improvements and higher welfare, pasture-based farming systems;
- Easing access to the program for organic producers; and
- Enabling farmers to receive payments for reducing use of antibiotics, adapting to and mitigating climate change and implementing pasture-based livestock production systems to improve soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat and carbon sequestration.
Chloë Waterman, Senior Food Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:
The Farmers CARE Act will help more farmers and ranchers cost-effectively protect natural resources and meet the surging demand for higher welfare, pasture-raised meat, dairy products and organic food. This bill is vitally needed to counteract the misguided cuts to working lands conservation programs in the GOP Farm Bill.