Farm bill conservation programs need to be more accessible to young and BIPOC farmers

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to review current farm bill conservation programs in anticipation of the 2023 Farm Bill. We sent a letter to the Committee emphasizing the critical role conservation programs can play in addressing climate change and improving land access.

Young and BIPOC farmers and ranchers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Unpredictable weather, severe storms, drought, pests, and disease pose serious threats to farming. At the same time, we believe that the agricultural sector can have a transformational impact on mitigating climate change through practices that sequester carbon in the soil and provide other ecosystem services to build on-farm climate resilience.

The 2023 Farm Bill will inform farm policy for the next decade, so it is crucial that it contains programs that incentivize climate-smart agriculture. Currently, many farmers in our network report experiencing challenges accessing these programs due to factors like lengthy application processes or the fact many of these programs are not designed for small, diversified operations. We look forward to working with Congress to find ways to make the 2023 Farm Bill conservation programs work for young and BIPOC farmers.

You can view the hearing here .

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