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Old 03-10-2001, 07:49 AM
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FYI - Private Lands Stewardship / Farm Bill

Promoting Private Lands Stewardship in New England in the Next Farm Bill
Fri, 9 Mar 2001 16:30:27 -0500

** Please circulate to others you think would be interested**

************************************************** ******************************************

Promoting Private Lands Stewardship in New England in the Next Farm Bill

Environmental Defense, Appalachian Mountain Club, Vermont Natural Resources
Council, Citizens for a Future New Hampshire, and others invite you to
attend a workshop on the opportunity of the next Farm Bill to promote
private land stewardship in New England. The goal of the meetings is to
bring together various stakeholders and organizations interested reforming
federal agriculture policies to promote environmental protection and food
safety and help family farmers and rural communities survive and thrive.

WHAT: Promoting Private Lands Stewardship in New England in the Next Farm

April 9: Concord, NH: 5:30-9:30 p.m.: New Hampshire Technical Institute, 11
Institute Drive, Concord, NH, #224 Little Hall, 603-271-6484

April 10th: Montpelier, VT: 6-9pm, Vermont College, 36 College Street,
Noble Lounge, Montpelier, VT, 802-485-2147

April 11: Augusta, ME: 6-9 p.m.: Pine Tree State Arboretum in Augusta, 153
Hospital Street, Augusta, ME, 207-621-0031

April 12th: Portland, ME: 6-9 p.m.: Southern Maine Technical College,
Culinary Arts Dining Room, Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106,

**Rhode Island and Massachusetts meetings are being organized**

WHY: No industry has as great an impact on the nation's water quality and
wildlife as agriculture because cropland, pasture, and ranchland make up 55
percent of our land and account for 80 percent of the nation's freshwater
consumption. Federal farm programs, renewed about every five years,
dramatically impact what happens on that land and on private forests as
well. The next Farm Bill provides a rare chance to reward private
landowners who take steps to protect our water supplies and wildlife, to
help farmers and ranchers curb sprawl, and to aid struggling family farmers
and ranchers, many of whom currently receive little federal farm support.

As much as $100 billion is at stake. Direct annual payments to farmers
increased from $9 billion in the early 1990s to a record $32 billion in
2000 and may soon average $20 billion a year. In recent years, only 10
percent of this funding has been directed at conservation, and program
structures are not favorable to most states, including New England. For
example, in 1998 and 1999, many states received 15 to 27 cents in federal
support for each dollar of the state's agriculture, while New England
farmers received only 1-3 cent on the dollar. Some members of Congress want
to enact a new Farm Bill this year without addressing demand for
conservation programs. But without a new focus on conservation, most farm
spending will not help most farmers or the environment.

RSVP/FOR MORE INFORMATION: Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense, at
202-387-3500 or

For more information, visit

Suzy Friedman
Agriculture Policy Analyst
Environmental Defense
1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, #1016
Washington, DC 20009
202-387-3500 x176
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