Save America’s Wildlife

Protect funding for farm conservation programs

The $20 billion investment from the Inflation Reduction Act is great for bees, our water, the climate and more

Coalition graphic | TPIN

Funding for farm conservation programs is a vital tool to save the bees and other pollinators, protect wildlife, reduce water pollution and more.

As was written in January, the $20 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act “could be a big win for bees,” and, “clean water, healthy soil and happy bees is a win-win-win.” 

That was true then – still is true today. But here’s the key: it was intended to be extra funding, additional investments. If lawmakers were to get clever and reduce spending in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill, then this extra funding would be for naught. 

That would be a shame because there are so many conservation programs that need new investments to truly transform the farming landscape. 

In the past, we’ve highlighted prairie strips as one of many important conservation programs. When farmers plant strips of prairie alongside their primary crops, voilà! Bees flourish and deep prairie roots absorb fertilizers, preventing runoff in streams and rivers. 

Another example is crop rotations. Planting four crops over four growing seasons is significantly better for the soil and leads to a reduced need for pesticides and fertilizers. (One on-farm study found that a 4-crop rotation led to a ridiculously impressive 97% reduction in herbicide use.) This conservation program is vital for bees and other wildlife, wonderful for reducing water pollution, and more. 

Funding is needed to help farmers invest in these programs. That’s why we joined 644 other organizations in asking Congress to protect this historic $20 billion investment. 

Here’s the text of the letter and the list of signers: 


February 27, 2023

Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman
U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee

Glenn Thompson, Chairman
U.S. House Agriculture Committee

John Boozman, Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee

David Scott, Ranking Member
U.S. House Agriculture Committee

Dear Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Boozman, and Ranking Member Scott,

As you begin to consider the 2023 Farm Bill, the undersigned groups urge you to protect the historic $20 billion investment in climate-smart agriculture and conservation technical assistance and to ensure that this funding stays in climate-smart agriculture and Farm Bill conservation programs. This is the largest investment into agriculture conservation and rural communities in decades and farmers, ranchers, and foresters across the country are depending on these resources.

USDA’s voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs enable producers to adopt practices that build soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also improving surface and ground water quality, increasing water efficiency, building resilience to drought and flood, creating habitat for fish and wildlife, and protecting agricultural lands for future generations. Farm Bill conservation programs have been critically oversubscribed and meet only a fraction of the need for voluntary conservation on the landscape. The increased funding for USDA’s popular and effective Farm Bill conservation programs will help to energize rural economies, improve climate resilience, and ensure that our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters are part of the solution to climate change.

The increased funding for Farm Bill conservation programs, climate-smart agriculture, and associated conservation technical assistance, along with existing Farm Bill conservation title funding, represents the best opportunity in decades to meet producer demand for conservation programs. Robust agriculture conservation funding benefits all parts of the country. The undersigned groups urge you to ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill protects these generational investments in climate-smart agriculture and USDA agriculture conservation programs.

Sincerely,

National Wildlife Federation; American Bird Conservancy; American Birding Association; American Friends Service Committee; American Rivers; American Sustainable Business Network; Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy; Appalachian Trail Conservancy; Association of State Floodplain Managers; Campaign for Environmental Literacy; Carbon180; Center for American Progress; Center for Food Safety; Center for Large Landscape Conservation; Central Grasslands Roadmap; Ceres; Change the Chamber; Chefs for Healthy Soil, An NRDC Project; Citizens’ Climate Lobby; Clean Air Task Force; Climate Action Campaign; Climate Action Now; Climate Collaborative; Climate Systems Solutions; Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship; Defenders of Wildlife; Dr. Michael Hutchins Impact on Wildlife Fund; E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs); Earth Force; Earthjustice; Elders Climate Action; Endangered Species Coalition; Environment America; Environmental Defense Fund; Environmental Policy Innovation Center; Environmental Working Group; Farm Action Fund; Farm Aid; Food Animal Concerns Trust; Four Paws USA; Green America; Hawk Migration Association of North America; Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association; Hazon; HBCU College of Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine; Health Care Without Harm; Hempstead Project Heart; Hispanic Access Foundation; Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development; Interfaith Power & Light; International Crane Foundation; Izaak Walton League of America; Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; Kiss the Ground; Land Core; Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc.; Latino Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Team; League of Conservation Voters; League of Women Voters of the United States; Mad Agriculture; Manomet; National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; National Audubon Society; National Caucus of Environmental Legislators; National Center for Appropriate Technology; National Hispanic Medical Association; National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium; National Parks Conservation Association; National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; National Young Farmers Coalition; Natural Resources Defense Council; Naturally Network; North American Grouse Partnership; Organic Farming Research Foundation; Organic Trade Association; Plant Based Foods Association; Plant Based Foods Institute; Point Blue Conservation Science; Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation; Rachel Carson Council; Regenerate America Coalition; Resource Renewal Institute; Restore America’s Estuaries; River Network; Road to Recovery, Saving our Shared Birds; Rural Coalition; Sierra Club; Sisters of the Holy Cross; Socially Responsible Agriculture Project; Solutions from the Land; Taproot Earth; Textile Exchange; The Breakthrough Institute; The Institute for Bird Populations; The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council; The Nature Conservancy; The Pew Charitable Trusts; The Trumpeter Swan Society; The Wilderness Society; The Wildlife Society; Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Trout Unlimited; Trust for Public Land; Union of Concerned Scientists; Voices for Progress; Wallace Center at Winrock International; Water Environment Federation; Wild Farm Alliance; World Wildlife Fund; Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; A.K.A. Coach and Company; Akers Ski, Inc.; Aligned Insight Inc. – A Colorado Public Benefit; Amazone; Amy’s Kitchen; Ann Arbor T-shirt Company, LLC; Avocado Green Mattress; Barley Swine; BBQ Mexicana; BeatBox Beverages; Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.; Beth Price Photography; Big Tree Farms, Inc; Bin 707 Foodbar; Bio-Gist Ventures, LLC; Bonterra Organic Estates; Blackbird Woodfire; Blue Hill; Border Grill; Broadside Bookshop, Inc.; C. Wolfe Software Engineering; Cajun Spirits Distillery, LLC; Cambridge Naturals; Cedar’s Cafe; Change Finance, PBC; Cheboygan Brewing Company; Cherry Republic; Climate Cookery; Coherence Collaborative; Community Food Co-op; Compose[d]; Contempl8 T-shirts LLC; Dr. Bronner’s; Durango Compost Company; EcoPlum; Eighty2degrees LLC; Eleek Incorporated; EnergyWorks; Ethanology Distillation; Ever Better, PBC; Evergreen Sustainability, LLC; Fedco Seeds; Financial Alternatives; Fox One Solutions; Flourish Juice Co., Inc; Foresight Management; Fruition; Great Lakes Tea & Spice Company; GreenVest; Haptic Lab Inc.; Harbor West Design; Hewing Hotel; HR Connectors; Iamsophiaroe; King Arthur Baking Company; Kye’s; L. Mawby, LLC; Legacy Club Holdings, LLC; Legacy Hospitality Holdings, Inc.; Legacy Vacation Club Management, LLC; Legacy Vacation Club Services, LLC; Legacy Vacation Club, LLC; Legacy Vacation Resorts; LEZA; Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery; Little Egg; Little Red Flower Truck LLC; Loaves & Fishes Collective; Longwave Financial; Lula; Luna Fargo; Lunchette; LVC Holding Co., LLC; LVC Timeshare Developer, LLC; LVC Timeshare Management, LLC; LVR Assets, LLC; M. B. Haskett Delicatessen; Mamo Hospitality LLC; Manzana Products Co., Inc.; Mara Hoffman; Marin Sunshine Realty; Maxie B’s; MegaFood; Mercantile; Mission Chinese Food; Mundo Management; MyForest Foods Co.; Namu Baru Inc.; Natural Selections; Naturepedic Organic Mattresses & Bedding; Navitas Organics; Neutral Foods; New Belgium Brewing; New Seasons Market; Nick Wallace Culinary; No Evil Foods; North By Nature LLC; Oatly; Odd Duck; Olipop; Organic Valley; Patagonia; Peak State; Plastic Beach Collections; Pony Named Bill Tack Shop; Pure Strategies; Quapaw Canoe Company; ReEarth; Reformation; REI Co-op; Remarkable Ventures Corp.; ReSeed PBC; Rincon-Vitova Insectaries; Risk to Resilience Strategy; Round Lake Group Hospitality LLC; Salt Palm Development, Inc.; Sanderson Sustainable Design; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Snacktivist Foods; Socalo; Solberg MFG; Southern Ohio Chestnut Company LLC; SPD 2021, LLC; SPD 2021A, LLC; SPD 2022, LLC; SPD 545, LLC; Stardust; Steve Kaye Photo; Stonyfield; Straus Family Creamery; Sullivan Scrap Kitchen; Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op; The Aparium Group; The Bear Factory; The Chefs Garden & Culinary Vegetable Institute; The Farthest Pixel; The Great Bouquet; The Tofurky Company; True North Trout; Unilever United States; Upton’s Naturals; Vacation Benefits, LLC; VF Corporation; Web of Life Products; Wiltse Kitchen; Wolf & Associates; Woodstock Inn; Working Title Food Group; Yellowbilled Tours; Zero Footprint; Andrews Farm; Angell Farm LLC; Attagrrl Farms; Bass Root Farm LLC; Beech Hill Farm; Bumpa Farm; Center View Farms Co.; Cicada Calling Farm; Chrysalis Farm; Clermont 140; Double S Acres farm; DuChick Ranch, LLC; Farthest Field Farm LLC; Garbarino Gardens; Geyer Farms; Glaciers End; Granor Farm; Gravender Farms; Helios Horsepower Farm; Here We Are Farm; Jóia Food & Fiber Farm; Lundberg Family Farms; Medicine Creek Farm; Nettie Fox Farm; Nightshade Farms LLC; North Branch Farm; Oakencroft Farm; Oertels Roots Family Farm; River Queen Greens; Roots Return Heritage Farm LLC; Savage Acres LLC; Schmidt Family Farms; Two Mile Creek Organic Farms; Whippoorwill Creek Farm; Whitestone Mountain Orchard; Wild Tilth Farm; Admiralty Audubon; Alabama Audubon; Alabama State Association of Cooperatives; Albert Lea Audubon Society, Inc; Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society; Alliance for the Great Lakes; Angelica Ridge; Arizona Climate Action Coalition; Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light; Arkansas Valley Audubon Society; Arkansas Wildlife Federation; Asociacion Ecosistemas Andinos – ECOAN; Audubon California; Audubon Center at Riverlands; Audubon Connecticut; Audubon Connecticut & New York; Audubon Colorado Council; Audubon Great Lakes; Audubon Great Plains; Audubon Miami Valley; Audubon Mid-Atlantic; Audubon MN IA MO; Audubon of Southwest Florida; Audubon Society of Central Maryland; Audubon Society of Forsyth County; Audubon South Carolina; Audubon Texas; Audubon Vermont; Austin Chapter, Minnesota Izaak Walton League; Benzie Conservation District; Bethesda-Chevy Chase Izaak Walton League; Bexar Audubon Society; Bird Conservancy of the Rockies; Bird Conservation Network; Bird Town Pennsylvania; BirdAndHike.com; Bozeman Birders; Bush Lake Chapter, Minnesota Izaak Walton League; Cacapon Institute; California Climate and Agriculture Network; California Environmental Voters; Calumet Region Illinois Chapter, Izaak Walton League; Cape Fear Audubon; Capital Region Land Conservancy; Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; Center for Climate Change and Health; Center for Conservation Research, Alcorn State University, MS; Center for Rural Affairs; Central Ohio Isaac Walton League; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Chesapeake Conservancy; Chicago Audubon Society; Chispa Arizona; Church Women United in New York State; Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge; City Wildlife; Climate Land Leaders; Climate Reality Chicago Metro; Climate Reality Finger Lakes Greater Region NY Chapter; Climate Reality Project Long Island Chapter; Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, Inc.; Colorado Wildlife Federation; Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture | CISA; Connecticut Health Professionals for Climate Action; Conococheague Audubon Society; Conservation Alabama; Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma; Conservation Federation of Missouri; Conservation Minnesota; Conservation Voters for Idaho; Conservation Voters New Mexico; Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania; Cottage Codgers; Coulee Region Audubon Society; Cumberland-Harpeth Audubon Society; Cypress Chapter, Florida, Izaak Walton League; Delaware Interfaith Power & Light; Delaware Nature Society; Delaware Valley Ornithological Club; Des Moines, Iowa Chapter, Izaak Walton League; Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology; Duval Audubon Society; Dwight Lydell, Michigan Chapter, Izaak Walton League; Eagle Audubon Society; Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light; Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation; Ecoclub; Edible Evanston; Endangered Habitats League; Elders Climate Action – Arizona Chapter; Empathy Surplus Network USA; Environmental Law & Policy Center; Environmental League of Massachusetts; Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan; Evansville Audubon Society, Inc.; Evergreen Audubon; Faith in Place; Families for a Livable Climate; Fargo Moorhead Audubon; Florida Wildlife Federation; For Love of Water (FLOW); Food Works; Forever Maryland; Friends of Family Farmers; Friends of the Mississippi River; Friends of Wake Soil and Water Conservation District; Gallatin Wildlife Association; Garden of the Gods, Colorado Izaak Walton League; Genesee Valley Audubon Society; George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center; Georgia Conservation Voters; Georgia Interfaith Power and Light; Georgia Wildlife Federation; Golden Eagle Audubon Society; Golden Gate Audubon; Grand Island, Nebraska Izaak Walton League; Grand Valley Audubon Society; Grassland 2.0; Grassland Groupies, Inc.; Grassland Water District; Great Lakes Business Network; Greater Ozarks Audubon Society; Green Forests Work; Green Lands Blue Waters; Green State Solutions; Griffith, Indiana Izaak Walton League; Halifax River Audubon; Hamilton, Ohio, Izaak Walton League; Harry Enstrom Chapter, Pennsylvania, Izaak Walton League; Headwaters Chapter, Ohio Izaak Walton League; Hilton Head Island Audubon Society; Hoosier Environmental Council; Hudson Carbon; Huron River Watershed Council; Illinois Council Trout Unlimited; Illinois Division, Izaak Walton League of America; Illinois Environmental Council; Illinois Ornithological Society; Illinois Stewardship Alliance; Indiana Division, Izaak Walton League; Iowa Coldwater Conservancy; Iowa County, Iowa, Izaak Walton League; Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa Interfaith Power & Light; Iowa Rivers Revival; Island Grown Initiative; Izaak Walton League – National Great Lakes Committee; Izaak Walton League, Loudoun County VA Chapter; Izaak Walton League, Pennsylvania Division; Jayhawk Audubon; Kansas Wildlife Federation; Kerncrest Audubon; Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society; Lahontan Audubon Society; Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance; Lancaster Farmland Trust; Land Stewardship Project; Lane County Audubon Society; Laney College; League of Michigan Conservation Voters; League of Women Voters of Iowa; Legacy Land Conservancy; Lehigh Valley Audubon Society; Louis Green-Sligo Chapter, Maryland, Izaak Walton League; Linnaean Society of New York; Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy; Louisiana Hypoxia Working Group; Lovey’s Market; Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association; LSU AgCenter Greater New Orleans; Lycoming Audubon Society; Maine Environmental Education Association; Maine Farmland Trust; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; Maine Public Health Association; Maine UU State Advocacy Network; Marion Audubon Society; Maryland Conservation Council; Maryland Ornithological Society; Mass Audubon; Menunkatuck Audubon Society; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute; Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action; Michigan Environmental Council; Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS); Michigan Interfaith Power & Light; Michigan League of Conservation Voters; Michigan Sustainable Business Forum; Middletown for Clean Energy; Milwaukee Riverkeeper; Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter; Minnesota State -Vermilion Chapter; Missouri Coalition for the Environment; Missouri Prairie Foundation; Missouri River Bird Observatory; MM Solar Advisory; Monmouth County Audubon Society; Montana Conservation Voters; Montana Interfaith Power and Light; Montana Wildlife Federation; Montgomery Bird Club; Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society; Natural Resources Council of Maine; Nature Forward; Nature Vancouver; NC League of Conservation Voters; Nebraska Division, Izaak Walton League; New City Neighbors; New Hampshire Audubon; New Hope Audubon Society; New Jersey Conservation Foundation; New Jersey League of Conservation Voters; New Mexico Audubon Council; New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light; New Mexico Wildlife Federation; New York City Audubon Society; New York League of Conservation Voters; NH Audubon; NJ Sustainable Business Council; NM Healthy Soil Working Group; North Carolina Council of Churches; North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light; North Cascades Audubon Society; North Central Washington Audubon Society; North Dakota Wildlife Federation; Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont; Northeast Organic Farming Association-Interstate Council; Northeastern Wisconsin Audubon Society; Northern Arizona Audubon Society; Northern Az. Climate Action Coalition; Northern Catskills Audubon Society; Northern New York Audubon Society; Northern Plains Resource Council; Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society; Oakland Audubon Society; Ohio Conservation Federation; Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association; Ohio River Foundation; Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Inc.; Onondaga Audubon; Openlands; Orange Audubon Society; Oregon Climate & Agriculture Network; Oregon Interfaith Power & Light; Ornithological Society of Puerto Rico; Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District; Pasa Sustainable Agriculture; Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust; PennEnvironment; PennFuture; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light; Peoria Audubon Society; Pilchuck Audubon; Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust; Pomona Valley Audubon Society; Portneuf Valley Audubon Society; Prairie Lakes Audubon Chapter; Prairie Rapids Audubon Society; Prairie Woods Chapter, Minnesota Izaak Walton League; Presque Isle Audubon Society; Prince George’s County Audubon Society; Project Eleven Hundred; Quittapahilla Audubon Society; Ramapough Culture and Land Foundation; Religious Coalition for the Great Lakes; RESTORE: The North Woods; Rockbridge Bird Club; Rutland County Audubon Society; Saint Paul Audubon Society; Salem Audubon Society; San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society; Savanna Institute; Save Our Seabirds; Save Our Seashore; Save the Dunes; School Sisters of St. Francis; Seminole Audubon Society; SERCAP, INC.; Sharing our roots; Sierra Club of Georgia; Sierra Forest Legacy; Silver Lining Institute; South Dakota Wildlife Federation; South Florida Audubon society; South Shore Audubon Society; Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative; Southern Maryland Audubon; Space Coast Audubon Society; SPROUT Nola; St. Louis Audubon Society; St. Lucie Audubon; Stockbridge Audubon Society; Sustainable Food Center; T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society; Tennessee Ornithological Society; Tennessee Wildlife Federation; The CLEO Institute; The Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon; The Parrot Club; Three Rivers Waterkeeper; Tijuana Paws and Whiskers Rescue; Topeka Audubon Society; Triad Wild!; Tropical Audubon Society; Trout Unlimited Chapter 420; Tucson Audubon Society; Tulare Kings Audubon Chapter; Twin Cities Trout Unlimited; Umpqua Watersheds; Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois; Utah Wildlife Federation; UUSG Green Sanctuary Team; Valley Forge Audubon Advocacy; Valley Forge Audubon Society; Ventura Audubon Society; Virginia Association for Biological Farming; Virginia Conservation Network; Wachiska Audubon Society; Wake Audubon Society; Walter Breckenridge Chapter, Minnesota Izaak Walton League; Waterkeepers Chesapeake; We All Rise; Wes Libbey Northern Lakes Chapter, Minnesota, Izaak Walton League; West Michigan Environmental Action Council; West Virginia Division, Izaak Walton League; West Virginia Rivers Coalition; Western Colorado Alliance; Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society; Western New York Environmental Alliance; Western Organization of Resource Councils; WildCare of Western New York; Will Dilg Chapter, Minnesota, Izaak Walton League; Wisconsin Conservation Voters; Wisconsin Division Izaak Walton League; Wisconsin Environmental Initiative; Wisconsin Metro Audubon Society; Wisconsin Society for Ornithology; Wisconsin Trout Unlimited; Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society; and Zumbro Valley Audubon.

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