The most basic piece of a nation’s infrastructure is a food system able to feed its people. Soil health should not be left on the sidelines of the infrastructure and climate discussions.
Legislation to rebuild infrastructure, address climate change and restore our economy presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to double funding for vital farm conservation programs to help farmers and ranchers understand, adopt and adapt soil health practices and make the investments needed to modernize American agriculture and restore soil health.
In August 2021, the Izaak Walton League and more than 200 conservation, agriculture and civic groups signed on to a letter asking congressional leaders to include “a robust investment into USDA agriculture conservation programs and conservation technical assistance in the budget reconciliation package.” This doubling of USDA conservation program funding is urgently needed.
An additional investment of just $5 billion per year, focused on soil health planning for farmers and incentives for the adoption of climate-friendly soil health practices, could help transform and modernize American agriculture and rebuild our depleted soils. This urgent need should not be left out of infrastructure and climate change legislation being considered by Congress.
Congress and the President should recognize the tremendous potential for investments in soil health to deliver natural resource and other public benefits across America, financial benefits for farmers and ranchers, and economic benefits for rural communities.
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation. The League’s agriculture program educates policy-makers about the benefits of soil health for our Nation's soil, climate, woods, waters and wildlife. www.iwla.org/agriculture
Michael Reinemer, Izaak Walton League Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-966-9574.
Duane Hovorka, Izaak Walton League Agriculture Program Director, email@example.com, 402-804-0033