The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee continued its series of hearings regarding reauthorization of the 2008 farm law by holding a hearing focusing on conservation.

Chairwoman Stabenow (D-Mich.) said conservation is essential to producing a healthy and affordable food supply and is now more important than ever to creating new jobs and protecting our land and water. She also noted the need to continue focusing on program simplification, consolidation, flexibility and accountability.

Prior to the hearing, the NCC joined other commodity groups in a letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member Roberts (R-Kan.), which said, “The conservation efforts in the Farm Bill are critical to a strong economy, healthy and productive rural lands and vibrant communities. We applaud your efforts to simplify these programs, keeping the same tools but merging them into fewer programs.”

In addition, during the hearing, Sen. Boozman (R-Ark.) requested that a statement by NCC Chairman Chuck Coley detailing NCC’s views on conservation be included in the record.

Hearing witnesses included Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White who underscored the impact conservation programs have had on improving soil and water conditions, and further reflected the need to continue strengthening conservation programs. During his testimony, White specifically mentioned conservation programs used by Don Cameron, a California cotton producer, to improve air quality.

Additional witnesses included Bruce Nelson, administrator, Farm Service Agency; Jeff Trandahl, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC; Dean Stoskopf, wheat producer, Hoisington, Kan.; Carl Mattson, producer, Chester, Mont.; Darrel Mosel, producer, Gaylord, Minn.; and, Earl Garber, president elect, National Assoc. of Conservation Districts, Basile, La.