What is at stake

We believe hard work should be recognized, respected and rewarded — and nobody works harder than the American farmer.

But today, no matter how hard they work, a series of growing challenges threaten farms and livelihoods across the country.

The challenges

Some of the most pressing problems that farmers must deal with today in order to stay viable for the future are:

  • rapidly rising input costs
  • falling commodity costs requiring farmers do more with less
  • increasingly frequent extreme weather, including droughts and flooding

These issues threaten rural livelihoods today, and jeopardize farmers’ ability to pass on their land and their life’s work to the next generation. They also weaken America’s position as one of the world’s most food secure countries.

The Solution

Traditional working lands conservation programs have been designed to support farmers in overcoming exactly these challenges.

They are among the most successful, popular and oversubscribed of all USDA programs.

  • In 2022, 73% of applicants were denied access due to lack of funding.
  • In response, Congress allocated $20 billion to make these programs accessible to the thousands of farmers who already applied or wanted to apply.

But now, Congress is considering rolling back these investments in the Farm Bill.

The threat

Today, money is flowing directly to our nation’s heartland, and farmers are putting it to good use on the ground.

  • Many of them have already made long-term plans, which would be jeopardized if funding was removed.
  • Many new participants would be completely cut off from the opportunities that brought increased productivity, profits and security for other farms in their areas.

Congress should protect our investment in the American farmer in the Farm Bill. It has a direct impact on tens of thousands of businesses and families across the nation — and on the future of American agriculture, food sovereignty and food security.

Now more than ever, we need to stand with our hard-working farmers.

The programs

Funding is currently at risk for the following key conservation programs.


The Environmental Quality Incentives Program

is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands.


The Conservation Stewardship Program

helps farmers build on their existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operation.


The Regional Conservation Partnership Program

is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land.


The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands or protect working farms and ranches through conservation easements.


Conservation Technical Assistance

helps ensure staff capacity at the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) which is responsible for administering these conservation programs and fostering partnerships between NRCS and millions of private landowners.

The Programs Offer Support to Producers in the Following Areas

Soil Health

Reducing soil erosion, improving water infiltration, and increasing nutrient cycling. Decreasing money spent on inputs like fertilizers and building more resilient and productive soils over time.

Nitrogen Management

Strengthening plant health and productivity, improving water quality, lowering input costs and improving or maintaining soil organic matter.

Livestock Waste

Improving livestock waste management.

Grazing and Pasture

Improving livestock forage while sequestering carbon in perennial biomass and soils.

Agroforestry and Wildlife Habitat

Improving forest and tree health, supporting wildlife and reducing erosion.

Restoration of Disturbed Lands

Reducing erosion, improving water quality and restoring habitats.

Energy Efficiency

Lowering input costs and improving air quality.

Restoration of Wetlands

Reducing soil erosion and improving groundwater and surface water quality as well as wildlife habitat.

Rice Cultivation

Conserving valuable water resources, reducing soil erosion and improving plant productivity and plant health.