Sending Office: Honorable Jared Huffman
Sent By:
Christine.Sur@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsors: Huffman, Blumenauer, Grijalva, Wasserman Schultz
Endorsed by: Friends of the Earth, Environmental Working Group

Deadline for original cosponsors: 4/25 COB

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to become an original cosponsor of the Farmers Conserving Agricultural Resources through EQIP (Farmers CARE) Act to improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The bill would amend EQIP to prioritize spending on projects that demonstrably improve the quality of the environment, increase payments for highly effective practices, eliminate payments to CAFOs, set aside funding for habitat improvements and pasture-based
systems, ease access to the program for organic producers, and to award more contracts for greater conservation benefit.  

Through EQIP, agricultural producers and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service work to improve water and air quality, soil and wildlife habitat, and to support and improve agricultural operations. It is widely used across the country, but data has
shown that while EQIP plays an important role in conservation, taxpayer dollars could be used more effectively to protect resources and public health.

Bill Summary:

The Farmers CARE Act would improve EQIP by:                                                                                                                         

  • Refocusing purposes to include urgent resource conservation needs, such as improving water quality, enhancing habitat, reducing the use of antibiotics in agriculture, enhancing biodiversity, and helping producers adapt to climate change
  • Amending the payment system to focus on high priority resource concerns such as cover cropping, integrated pest management, stream habitat improvement, pollinator habitat, and conservation crop rotation.
  • Eliminating payments to confined animal feedlot operations (CAFOs) to stop factory farms from taking advantage of EQIP funding for waste management practices that should already be used
  • Increasing set asides for payments to improve fish and wildlife habitat and for independent animal welfare certification programs to ensure humane practices
  • Adding payments for additional ground and surface water conservation practices including groundwater recharge and water banking, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and efficient and alternative frost protection methods
  • Removing funding caps for organic production and supporting producers transitioning to organic practices
  • Adding new sections to EQIP to provide payments for reducing antibiotic use and for pasture-based systems to improve soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat, and carbon sequestration
  • Prioritizing applications that address priority resource concerns
  • Lowering the payment cap to $200,000 to award more contracts to more producers

If you have any questions or would like to be an original cosponsor of the Farmers CARE Act, please contact Christine Sur in my office at christine.sur@mail.house.gov by 4/25 COB

 

Sincerely,

Jared Huffman

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources

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