Press Releases

Subcommittee Highlights Innovative, Voluntary Conservation Practices

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Washington, March 1, 2016 | comments
Today, Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5), Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, held a hearing to highlight the unique and innovative conservation practices that farmers and ranchers are voluntarily utilizing to conserve and protect natural resources. Members heard from two panels of witnesses including Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Jason Weller and stakeholders who are using voluntary, incentive-based programs and new technologies to protect and restore water quantity and quality, air quality, and wildlife habitat.

“Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are the original and the best conservationists. They make their living off the land, and they depend on the quality of our nation’s water and soil. In Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, I have seen firsthand how farmers are engaging in innovative practices, including no-till farming, to help preserve nutrients in the soil. This innovation is especially beneficial throughout the region as we continue to improve the Chesapeake Bay watershed through voluntary efforts. I thank those who testified at today’s hearing and believe that, by working together, we can make even more progress in preserving the quality of our nation’s water and soil,” said Subcommittee Chairman Thompson.

“Today, we are once again reminded that our farmers, ranchers, and foresters are taking advantage of all tools and programs available to them to protect and restore our natural resources. These resources vary depending on where you live, and in Texas a major issue we face is drought. It was a pleasure to hear Mr. Price explain what he does on his ranch in Texas to make the most of his resources by utilizing conservation programs. Producers like him make their living off of the land, and they understand better than anyone how essential it is to protect it for future generations. Many times we have seen this administration completely disregard these voluntary efforts and implement burdensome policies that hinder farmers’ and ranchers’ abilities to produce food and fiber for the world. We must continue to advocate for these innovative voluntary, conservation programs provided in the Farm Bill that our farmers and ranchers are participating in,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairman Thompsons's opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Witness List 


Panel I
Chief Jason Weller, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 

Panel II
Ms. Rachel Dawson, Senior Manager, Delaware River, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC 

Mr. Frank Price, Owner, Frank and Sims Price Ranch, Sterling City, TX 

Mr. Rich Bowman, Director of Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy, Lansing, MI 

Mr. Kent Rodelius, Vice President, Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition, Willmar, MN 
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