Voluntary conservation programs [in the United States] work largely because of the commitment of farmers, ranchers, and foresters to implementing conservation practices on their operations. These were among the opening comments of Congressman Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry as it held the first of a series of panels exploring the effectiveness of conservation policies ahead of the next U.S. Farm Bill.

“Those who make their living off the land understand just how crucial it is to preserve and protect our nation’s natural resources,’ policies to ensure they work for rural America,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Mr. K. Michael Conaway.  “It is important to recognize the environmental gains producers continue to achieve through voluntary conservation. America’s producers are voluntarily reducing soil erosion, increasing wetlands, improving water quality, and preserving farmland and wildlife habitats. This committee is consistently reminded that locally-led, voluntary conservation practices work.”