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SUBMITTED: Want to Support Farmers? Support the Environment.


With a world that is rapidly changing, American farmers have faced unprecedented uncertainty. 

Growing up surrounded by cornfields in Southern Indiana, I remember some years were harder than others for the farmers due to harsh weather conditions or other factors. Although I didn’t grow up on a farm myself, my community was fueled by agriculture, and I learned to appreciate everything farmers do for our nation. 

Hundreds of miles away in Washington D.C., Congress passes a “Farm Bill” once every five years to support our agricultural industry. This bill should help everyday farmers, but time is running out for this iteration. If it does not get passed soon, farmers will not be able to access key funding. 

Programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) help farmers nationwide to implement effective conservation practices that not only yield higher production but help keep the environment healthy. With the growing popularity of  EQIP and CSP, conservatives must support the funding in the Farm Bill. 

When it comes to the farmers, they know what works best for their land and farms, and they deserve the right to opt into programs like EQIP and CSP. These programs are essential and popular with farmers and they are also essential in making farming more sustainable. In fact, these programs are so popular that the current amount of funding can only support a fraction of applicants to these programs. 

It’s important to acknowledge that farmers are conservationists. Fortunately, many young people – namely young conservatives – know this. In a recent American Conservation Coalition poll, 78% of young conservatives said they were in favor of sustainable agriculture. The future of environmental action must include our nation’s farmers, and the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill is an excellent place to start.

Importantly, these programs directly benefit our nation’s farmers. Practices implemented through EQIP include reduced contamination from agricultural sources and improved soil health, which mitigates increasing weather volatility, improves drought resiliency, and helps farmers adapt to the effects of climate change. CSP can help farmers develop grazing plans, improving the forage base for their livestock. 

Climate change has made farmers’ livelihoods more uncertain than ever before. Allocating critical funding to our agricultural sector to improve production and protect our environment is crucial. 

As a resident of western Kentucky, I would urge my elected representatives to support American agriculture by preserving conservation funding in the Farm Bill. 

Jeb Veeck is a senior from Wadesville, Indiana, with a major in political science and a minor in sales. Veeck is the branch leader of the American Conservation Coalition Action’s WKU Branch.

If you would like to submit a reaction to a piece, Letter to the Editor or other submission, please send it to commentary editor Price Wilborn at [email protected] or [email protected]

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