The Farm Bill
Since 2002, Farm Bill objectives of promoting stewardship of land and water resources through conservation and forestry provisions have been enormously successful in advancing conservation of wildlife habitat and improved water quality across the nation.
In Pennsylvania, farming is a leading industry with over 7.7 million acres in farm production, and it accounts for $4 billion in cash receipts annually. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has a $5 billion forest products industry supported by nearly 17 million acres of forest land, of which 12 million acres are privately held. The impact that federal farm policy can have on our state is significant.
However in many areas in Pennsylvania, farmland and forest land face intense development pressure. Farm Bill programs provide important incentives to farmers to employ responsible farming practices that will help to sustain the economic viability of their lands while greatly improving the quality of our water and the protection of wildlife habitat. Farm Bill conservation programs also help farmers comply with federal and state regulations.
WPC supports strengthening the Conservation and Forestry titles of the Farm Bill. We would especially like to see continued strong investments in the Agricultural Conservation Easement program, including both agricultural land easements and wetland reserve easements.
View our detailed Farm Bill Policy Platform (updated August 2017).
The Conservancy has also endorsed the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition’s recommendations for the 2018 Farm Bill.