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Two Victories for Farmers

1. Healthcare and CAFOs
2. Conservation Stewardship Program

by Tim Gibbons

Columbia, Missouri

Victory for Scotland County Citizens
Residents Vote to Reinstate Health Ordinance

On Tuesday, August 4th, Scotland County residents voted with a 58% majority to reinstate a county health ordinance regulating industrial livestock facilities. This was the first county-wide vote regarding the implementation of a health ordinance and the voice of the majority was heard --even in the face of big dollars and propaganda spewing from those supporting corporate agri-business at the expense of the Missouri's farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

We would like to congratulate Concerned Citizens of Scotland County and all the farmers and residents who participated in the democratic process to hold CAFOs accountable to their communities and the environment. Hopefully, by way of their County Commission, Scotland County farmers and landowners will be increasingly protected from CAFOs and the companies and organizations that support their proliferation.

Thanks to all those who have joined us the last 4 years in the fight to protect democracy and local control at the state legislature! This weeks victory is a prime example of rural citizens successfully engaging in that very democratic process that you and many others have fought so hard to protect.

New Conservation Stewardship Program

Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) applauds the USDA's announcement of the first-ever national sign-up for the newly revamped Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply to the program from Aug. 10 to Sept. 30.
"MRCC farmer-members are looking forward to making CSP a part of their farming operations and getting support for maintaining and increasing good conservation on our land while continuing to produce crops and livestock," said Rhonda Perry, livestock and grain farmer from Howard County and Program Director of MRCC.
Last year the Conservation Security Program got a name change, but more than that the new Conservation Stewardship Program has been greatly expanded. Previously, farmers had to wait until a short signup period opened in their watershed. Now any farmer across Missouri can apply, and can apply at any time of the year. The program also got a boost in funding-$12 billion dollars over the next 10 years.
The core of the program remains the same, including rewarding farmers for existing conservation efforts as well as new practices they take on.  Farmers who are truly conservation leaders are compensated for improving the soil, air, water quality, wildlife habitat, and energy conservation.
The new CSP is available to all agricultural producers, regardless of where they live or what they are producing. With the increase in program funding, the goal is to enroll nearly 13 million acres per year, creating the opportunity to have a much greater impact on conservation and rural economies. 

Published in In Motion Magazine August 9, 2009.

Also see:

  • Click here for a PDF of the report:
    Industrial Livestock at the Taxpayer Trough:
    How Large Hog and Dairy Operations are Subsidized by the
    Environmental Quality Incentives Program
    by Elanor Starmer

  • Feeding the Factory Farm
    How U.S. Farm Policy Benefits Industrial Livestock Operations and Hurts Family Farmers
    by Elanor Starmer
    Boston, Massachusetts

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