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Two-thirds of the continental United States are working lands—farms, ranches and private forestlands—that provide clean water, healthy, productive soils, wildlife habitat, and other important benefits for the entire nation. 

The USDA’s conservation programs share the cost of improving and protecting these lands with farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. These public/private partnerships are a critical piece of our nation’s conservation strategy.

But while demand for these programs is always far greater than available funding, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is now proposing even deeper budget cuts.

We can’t afford to cut critical support for farmers and forest landowners who are working to conserve millions of acres of precious land. 

There are solutions to the nation's budget woes other than cutting programs that invest in a cleaner future for our air, water and land. Write Secretary Vilsack and urge him to take conservation funds off the chopping block.

Letter to
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
When you deliver your agency's 5% budget reduction to President Obama, I urge you not to cut conservation dollars.

Slashing these programs will do nothing significant to address our nation's budget problems, while it will dramatically reduce our ability to protect the resources that supply our nation with abundant food and a cleaner environment.

As stewards of over 70% of the land in America, farmers, ranchers and private landowners are critical partners in efforts to find cost-effective solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges.

Voluntary farm bill conservation programs provide support to stewards of working lands who are ready to invest their own time and money into tackling these conservation challenges. Further, these programs provide assistance that helps keep farms and forests as working lands, strengthening both rural America and the environment.

Unfortunately, demand for these programs far outweighs available funding.

We must find other solutions to the nation's budget woes than cutting programs that help rural Americans secure a cleaner future.

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