Walz introduces soil stewardship bill | TSLN.com

Walz introduces soil stewardship bill

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., on Tuesday introduced a bill to enhance the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Walz said the SOIL Stewardship Act of 2018 will empower farmers and ranchers to advance soil health by:

▪ Providing funding to ensure working lands conservation programs can support the growing demand for financial and technical conservation assistance.

▪ Ensuring payments reflect the farmer investment and conservation benefits resulting from the adoption of key practices and programs.

▪ Increasing program accessibility through better coordination between programs, while also encouraging higher levels of stewardship.

▪ Increasing commitment and conservation support for historically underserved participants.

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The Land Stewardship Project and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition offered endorsed the SOIL Stewardship Act.

"As a farmer, I know how important healthy soil is. I think the SOIL Stewardship Act strengthens working lands conservation programs like CSP (the Conservation Stewardship Program). These programs help everyone in many ways, such as improving water quality and holding soil on the farm – while farmers can still produce a crop. The focus of this act is to both build soil health and improve the sustainability of our farms," said Jon Jovaag, a farmer from Austin, Minn., and a Land Stewardship Project member.

"The SOIL Stewardship Act offers a comprehensive strategy to improve and better coordinate our two largest working lands conservation programs, and builds upon the unique approaches and functions of each individual program," said Alyssa Charney, senior policy specialist at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

–The Hagstrom Report