Federal Help Needed for Farmers
In Washington, D.C., CBF is asking the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) to
increase support for farmers, who need help
keeping pollution out of the waters at this
critical time and into the future. We are also
meeting with Members of Congress and their
staff to ensure that they understand how
important it is that the farmers have the tools
and resources they need to protect the water
within their backyard rivers and streams.
Pollution from farms can end up in our
rivers and streams. In Pennsylvania, like
other watershed states, farmers need to keep
runoff—especially nitrogen—from polluting local rivers and eventually the Bay. A lot
of nitrogen in Pennsylvania needs to be prevented from going in the water: 23 million
pounds per year of nitrogen. And the
Commonwealth is falling behind.
Pennsylvania is so far behind that the whole
region is off track. That is why Senators Ben
Cardin (MD) and Bob Casey (PA) are concerned and putting pressure on USDA.
Secretary Tom Vilsack of USDA has the tools
Family farmers play a
critical role in the effort
to restore the Bay, and
they need a helping hand.
D.C. & FEDERAL AFFAIRS
Additional financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would help more farmers
in Pennsylvania employ conservation measures, like planting trees (as seen above) that help
reduce polluted runoff from reaching our local creeks and streams and eventually the Bay.
and resources that can help family farmers
in Pennsylvania protect our land and water.
We need his increased leadership and support now more than ever.
USDA currently has many successful initiatives under the jurisdiction of the Natural
Resources Conservation Service and the
Farm Service Agency that help farmers
reduce nitrogen pollution.
• The Conservation Reserve Enhancement
Program (CREP) helps farmers plant trees
or build fences along waterways—both
keep cattle out of creeks and streams to
improve water quality.
• The Environmental Quality Incentives
Program (EQIP) provides financial and
technical assistance to help farmers plan
and implement conservation practices
that improve the water-, soil-, plant-, ani-
mal-, and air-related resources.
• The Regional Conservation Partnership
Program (RCPP) works to create innovative techniques that benefit farmers, local
economies, and communities.
All of these voluntary programs are in place
to help farmers, but USDA needs to increase
funding so more farmers in the watershed
are able to take advantage of these initiatives.
uTo learn more about CBF’s federal clean-water efforts, visit cbf.org/DC.
Our Members of
Congress have started us
off, but USDA really
needs to hear from you.
If we want both family farms and clean
rivers and streams, we need USDA to help
us create that future. Please, take a minute
to write or tweet Secretary Tom Vilsack at
USDA and let him know how important
clean water and healthy farms are to you.
If you are a farmer, you could also share
experiences working with conservation
programs. We all need clean water in our
local streams, and family farmers need
support with pollution-reduction efforts. Let
Secretary Vilsack know that family farmers
need more funding!
Please send your letters to:
United States Agriculture Department
Attn: Secretary Tom Vilsack
1400 Independence Avenue, S. W.
Washington, DC 20250
Or let him know by tweeting the following:
.@USDA please give farmers the
additional resources they need to reduce
nutrient pollution within #ChesBay!
.@USDA clean water & local food need
more support! Please provide additional
funding to farmers! #Save TheBay