WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, praised the overwhelmingly bipartisan 87-13 approval Tuesday of the Conference Report for the Farm Bill. The key conservation title in the amended H.R. 2 triples the amount of funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) while streamlining program participation requirements with a “focus on increasing producer access, improving conservation outcomes, and simplifying procedures.” The Maryland Farm Bureau fully supports the bill.
Senator Cardin: “The 2018 Farm Bill is a win for Maryland farmers and the entire state. Agriculture is central to Maryland’s economy and way of life for so many Marylanders. It’s why I supported final passage of the Farm Bill today that supports Maryland farmers and strengthens the federal commitment to conservation programs through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) with a minimum of $300 million per year to help farmers do their part to preserve a healthy Chesapeake Bay and support other conservation programs. A healthy Bay is good for our farmland and good for our regional economy. Federal and regional partnerships have been crucial to the progress we have made in improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
In addition to protecting the RCPP, Senator Cardin praised the bipartisan conferees for keeping the legislation primarily focused on agriculture and farmers without the inclusion of damaging anti-environmental policy riders favored by the House of Representatives. As predicted in a letter Senator Cardin led with nearly 40 senators, “[a]voiding controversial provisions that erode landmark environmental laws could pave the way to an on-time and widely supported reauthorization of the Farm Bill.”