Conservation Programs Pay the Price
The Inflation Reduction Act (H. R. 5376) recently enacted contains an additional $20 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to “ramp up USDA’s voluntary land stewardship programs, a potential windfall for climate mitigation ahead of the 2023 farm bill,” reported Successful Farming on July 8, 2022.
Windfall it is, and right on target. The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released their “Solving the Climate Crisis” plan in 2019, setting 30×30 as one of the key targets. To accomplish this, they recommend increasing funding and programs for conservation programs that can be placed on agriculture production.
The funding allocated for the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Regional Conservation Partnership Program requires the funds be “subject to the condition on the use of the funds that the Secretary shall prioritize projects and activities that mitigate or address climate change through the management of agricultural production, including by reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions,” (Section 15002(3)(B)).
This places the Biden Administration in control of food security, not America’s farmers.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which is a cost-share program used by farmers and ranchers for projects such as pipelines and storage tanks for water on federal grazing allotments that increase range distribution of livestock and wildlife, also includes a concerning provision. Attached to the funding is the direction to prioritize “proposals that utilize diet and feed management to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants.”
The Biden Administration can finally control gas emissions from cows owned by those under this new round of funding for the voluntary conservation program.
One just has to take a look at the crisis farmers and ranchers are facing in the Netherlands to see where this is headed. As their government is requiring the elimination of half their livestock herds to comply with the global climate crisis policies, creating a food security crisis in Europe, the Democratic Party here is marching us off the same cliff.
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