On August 25, 2011, the US Senate Committee on Agriculture held a field hearing in Wichita, Kansas. The President of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts presented testimony on the benefits of conservation in his state and around the nation. We encourage you to read the testimony in its entirety, but here are a few excerpts.
But the key difference between the Dirty Thirties and today is the improved farming and soil conservation practices that prevent wind erosion and keep the Great Plains from experiencing the dust storms that plagued the area back then.
Farm Bill conservation programs should be resource-driven and locally led with sufficient flexibility to allow funding to be directed to local priorities and concerns.
Ensure that the delivery system for conservation programs is easily accessible for conservation program customers. The signup process must be simple, easy to understand, completed with reasonable effort, and reach a broad customer audience.
In closing, we would urge Congress to, at a minimum, maintain the mandatory conservation funding levels as agreed to in the 2008 Farm Bill so that conservation programs aimed at providing critical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to address local resource issues will continue to benefit us all with improved air and water quality and soil health.