Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research held a hearing to review implementation of the conservation title of the 2008 Farm Bill. Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania chaired today's hearing, which included testimony from two USDA officials charged with implementing those programs.
"On the House Agriculture Committee, we have a long history of helping producers economically and proactively address resource concerns. In the 2008 Farm Bill we continued this tradition by dramatically increasing conservation funding and making important policy changes so that programs run more efficiently," Chairman Holden said. "Implementing the Farm Bill conservation programs in a swift and equitable manner is critical as farmers and ranchers across the country work to produce the safest, most reliable source of food, fiber and energy, all while addressing different environmental challenges. I remain committed to working with landowners and USDA to ensure that these programs are implemented in a timely manner while also minimizing the burdens on producers."
"Congress was able to strengthen its commitment to conservation in the 2008 Farm Bill. It is vitally important for this committee to hold the department accountable for implementing these critically important programs as Congress intended," said Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.
The 2008 Farm Bill increased spending on conservation programs by $4 billion and included important reforms and improvements to existing programs as well as new initiatives to protect, develop and expand the nation's natural resources.
The opening statements of all witnesses are available on the Committee website at http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/index.html. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.