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Cuts to Conservation Stewardship Program funding would be damaging

BY JAMES VERNARD Published: July 11, 2012
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CSP and other farm bill programs are good for the economy overall, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the big funding source for education.

The heat we've experienced the past few years has been intense. Some of the grasses in my rangeland have died back as a result — grass that was there when the buffalo roamed the prairie. CSP is a critical grassland conservation tool, surpassing programs such as the Grasslands Reserve Program in the number of acres conserved. If we don't invest in protecting our land and water against extreme weather, we'll pay for it down the road.

Congress should work to ensure as much funding as possible for CSP. At the very least, the House should match the Senate's plan to cut funding for this program by no more than 10 percent.

Bernard's farm has been enrolled in CS Program since 2009. The above was submitted by the Nationial Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.