New Farm Bill Supports
Spring’s colorful blooms were a welcome
end to an unseasonably cold and snowy
winter in the District of Columbia. Over the
past few months Congress has been working
to pass effective legislation. The 2014 Farm
Bill can serve as a tally mark in the win column, with its passage in January.
The Farm Bill’s passage represents a successful bipartisan effort to continue to help
family farmers working to implement the
Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint. CBF’s
agricultural specialists throughout the Bay
watershed help these farmers use Farm Bill
conservation programs to share the costs of
new farm practices that protect the streams
that flow through their lands.
In Pennsylvania, for example, Mike
Marquardt, who operates Marquardt Farms
in Spring Mills, is benefitting from the Farm
Bill. He now uses cover crops (crops planted primarily to manage soil fertility) thanks
to support from specialists at the U.S.
Department of Agriculture who helped him
select and pay for installation. Mr.
Marquardt shares that, “Muddy Creek runs
through the farms, so I have to do my part
to minimize the impacts.” Mike Saxe, Jr., a
fourth-generation farmer in Sullivan County,
Pennyslvania, now has a concrete barnyard
and a manure storage facility thanks to the
same program. Both help to improve farm
production and water quality. “The impor-
tance of these programs can’t be understated,”
Randy and Tina Kuhn, owners and opera-
tors of Kuhn Family Farm in Bradford
County, Pennsylvania, decided to stop farm-
ing on land close to their streams. With
support from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, they planted hardwood trees
and shrubs to form a forested riparian buffer
along the stream instead. This buffer helps
filter nutrients and sediment that could
make it to the stream and pond at times of
heavy rainfall and runoff. The buffer also
enhances the habitat for fish and wildlife.
Members of Congress love to hear success
stories from their districts. For that reason,
Harry Campbell, Executive Director of
CBF’s Pennsylvania office, recently traveled
from the banks of the Susquehanna River to
the marble hallways of Capitol Hill.
Along with CBF Federal Policy Director Alix
Murdoch, Harry met with members of
Congress and their staff to describe the
great work that is being done by local
farmers to protect their streams, and how
the Farm Bill programs are essential to help
farmers across the watershed reach their
pollution-reduction goals. To date, CBF has
worked with over 5,000 farmers in
Pennsylvania to help them improve water
quality, with support from Farm Bill conservation programs. These programs provide
essential support for the Chesapeake Clean
To learn more about what our Washington,
D.C., office is working on, visit cbf.org/DC.
The federal Farm Bill is
helping family farmers across
the Bay watershed.
Randy and Tina Kuhn, Owners and Operators of Kuhn Family Farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, decided to stop farming on land close to their streams.
Farm Bill funds helped them plant a buffer along their stream.