Press Releases

Adirondack Council & Essex Farm Institute Statement on Passage of 2018 Farm Bill

From Executive Director William C. Janeway

The Adirondack Council and the Essex Farm Institute are pleased to see that some of the programs slated for reductions in funding or elimination in the House-passed version of the bill were retained and funded in the final 2018 Farm Bill. Several of these programs provide important funding for farm conservation that enhances the sustainability of environmentally wise, climate-friendly farming in the Adirondack Park's Champlain Valley.

For example, the bill provides $500 million in mandatory funding for the Local Agriculture Market Program, which combines the Value Added Producer Grant program (for food processing and marketing, and the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program

It reauthorizes the Rural Energy for American program that assists farmers, agriculture producers and rural small businesses in purchasing renewable energy systems and making energy-efficiency improvements.  That program retained its $50 million in annual funding.

Rather than eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program, which supports advanced conservation measures on farms, the program had its funding reduced by roughly $800 million, which was transferred to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and granting mandatory baseline funding for a watershed program.

We share the Land Trust Alliance’s assessment that $450 million in funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program “builds new opportunities for farm and ranchland conservation.”

Overall, the bill appears to support the Champlain Valley farming renaissance, helping local farms grow healthy food for local residents. 

 

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