Policy Action: Farm Bill Update, Doing Your Part

d2cac5e8-e740-47d1-8478-74b3d9935296 Your voice matters. Quail Forever’s efforts in D.C only work when representatives are hearing from you too. And it's clear they have been! Here’s your November Policy Action news from Quail Forever.

The House of Representatives had hoped to advance the next Farm Bill this fall before Congress adjourned. But House Agriculture Committee Chairman Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) recently acknowledged that the process would be delayed (i.e., floor time being booked), due to tax reform and completing the 2018 budget. 

Chairman Conaway said the House intends to move the Farm Bill discussions and begin debate in early 2018. This is consistent with what we hear from the Senate as well.

Quail Forever staff have recently seen Farm Bill marker bills released. A marker bill is basically a provision or compilation of several related provisions to be eventually incorporated into a larger bill – in this case, the full 2018 Farm Bill.  We are reviewing marker bills as they are released.


Earlier this month we asked Quail Forever members and partners to join us in a call to action, calling and emailing your Representatives and asking them to support a strong CRP in the next Farm Bill. Thank you to those of you that have reached out. And there is still time to act! Your voice matters – click here to be heard via CRP Works.
Here’s an example of this kind of advocacy work in action. Quail Forever work (supported by member voices) recently paid off when Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) introduced H.R. 4298, the CRP Grazing Flexibility Act, which would improve the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for program stakeholders, including farmers, conservation advocates, wildlife enthusiasts and U.S. taxpayers.

Done right, grazing is great for grassland habitat.
The measure allows farmers to use grazing to satisfy their CRP mid-contract management requirement. This legislation came, in part, as a result of many of your conversations with their staff including QF/PF Regional Rep. John Wallace and QF/PF member Glenn Coleman. John and Glenn visited in DC earlier this fall and sat down with staff to discuss the purpose and function of this bill. 

This is just one example of how talking to your representatives matters!

Another positive: USDA Secretary Perdue recently announced the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) state directors. Now with state authority in place, we hope to see our priorities advance within state agencies. Your voice will matter in these efforts too. Find your state leaders here.