Coalition Urges Congress to Include Great Lakes Priorities in New Farm Bill

A coalition of Great Lakes states, agriculture, water utility and conservation leaders released a joint statement to Congress highlighting program priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill to protect the region’s soil, drinking water and wildlife while promoting a strong farm economy.

The statement calls on Congress to increase funding and implement policy reforms to improve working lands, easement, habitat restoration, and invasive species control programs; expand conservation technical assistance to promote the adoption of successful practices to protect water quality, increase productivity and conserve valuable wildlife habitat; and strengthen methods for demonstrating conservation success, improve research and support state certification programs.

“Everyone agrees that protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and safeguarding our drinking water are critically important. To do so, agriculture and conservation groups must continue to work together,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the Great Lakes Commission and commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “We’re excited to present these joint Farm Bill program priorities to Congress and urge them to protect the environment, economy and drinking water in the Great Lakes region.”

“The Farm Bill is one of the most important federal policies affecting agricultural conservation here in the Great Lakes region and across the country,” said Marc Smith, director of conservation partnerships with National Wildlife Federation. “We look forward to working together on a new Farm Bill that includes strong provisions for wildlife, clean water and soil health.”

“The Great Lakes are a national treasure, and we urge Congress to use this Farm Bill to ensure that farmers have the tools to produce an abundant food supply while protecting soil, water and air resources,” said Chris Jahn, president of The Fertilizer Institute.

The statement is endorsed by the Great Lakes Commission, American Water Works Association, Ducks Unlimited,Michigan Farm Bureau, National Wildlife Federation, Ohio Environmental Council, and The Fertilizer Institute.

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