Changes in New Farm Bill a Win for Michigan Conservation

MUCC has a long history of supporting agricultural policy that maintains working agricultural and managed forest lands while protecting, enhancing and restoring critical wildlife habitat and protecting and improving fisheries habitat and water quality. The agricultural conservation programs that are authorized and funded through the Farm Bill are the largest single funding source for private land conservation efforts in Michigan. Thus, it's critical that programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and Wetlands Reserve Program are adequately funded to sustain our traditions of hunting and encouraging conservation practices that enhance habitat, while also protecting water quality.
The 2014 Farm Bill includes the conservation and sporting community’s top priorities of re-coupling conservation compliance to crop insurance and a Sodsaver program. There are also several provisions that Michigan can take advantage of that could advance ongoing work attempting to increase timber supply from federal and non-industrial private forest lands as well as improving forest health.
After three long years of debate, the United States House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act and it was signed into law by President Obama last month in our home state. This bipartisan legislation enhances and strengthens vital polices important to sportsmen and women and has been a long time priority of every major hunting and conservation organization throughout the country.
President-Farm-Bill-Signing-2014 2014 Farm Bill signing at Michigan State University. Photo courtesy of Senator Stabenow's office.
We especially recognize and thank Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, for her leadership on this critical legislation,  the many hours the Committee staff worked with conservation partners on refining and moving the legislation, and their commitment to ensuring the legislation had bipartisan support.
Not everyone got everything they wanted out of this legislation, but in the end, conservation won.

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