SCHUMER VISITS DHARMA LEA FARM IN SCHOHARIE COUNTY TO SEE FIRSTHAND HOW UPSTATE FARMERS ARE REAPING THE BENEFITS CONSERVATION FUNDING HE BOOSTED IN THE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT; SCHUMER VOWS TO FIGHT TO PROTECT VITAL CONSERVATION GRANTS FOR UPSTATE NY IN UPCOMING FARM BILL
Last Week, Schumer Met With Capital Region Dairy Farmers At Dharma Lea Farm To See Up Close How EQIP, The USDA Program Supporting Producers Interested In Conserving And Improving Natural Resources on Their Farms, Is Helping Farms Across Upstate
Schumer Delivered Major Fed $$$ For Conservation Program In Inflation Reduction Act, Which He Led To Passage As Majority Leader – Senator Now Says Protecting This Program Is A Top Priority In Upcoming Farm Bill
Schumer: We Cannot Crop This Program’s Life Short – We Must Protect Our Hardworking Upstate Farmers By Making EQIP A Top Priority In Upcoming Farm Bill!
Standing at Dharma Lea Dairy Farm in Cobleskill, N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer met with Capital Region farmers last week to see how they are utilizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) conservation grants that he secured in the Inflation Reduction Act last year. Schumer explained that EQIP is a the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) flagship conservation program that helps farmers and ranchers integrate conservation practices on working agricultural land through financial cost-share and technical assistance.
“After visiting Dharma Lea Dairy Farm this past week, I can confidently say that our hardworking farmers in the Capital Region and across Upstate are actively reaping the benefits of the billions in EQIP conservation funding that I secured in the Inflation Reduction Act last year. As the climate crisis worsens, it is important, now more than ever before, that we are supporting the critical conservation efforts of our farmers and working to solve on-farm resource issues to ensure the success of all farms in the empire state,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why as we begin negotiations in the Senate on the 2023 Farm Bill, I will keep plowing ahead to prioritize this vital funding and convey to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that we cannot crop this program’s life short!”
The senator helped deliver $19.5 billion for conservation programs run by USDA/NRCS in the IRA, including $8.45 billion for the EQIP program alone. Now, Schumer is launching an all-out push to protect these critical grants for farms in Schoharie, the Capital Region, and across Upstate NY in the 2023 Farm Bill and will prioritize this federal program during upcoming negotiations.
Schumer said that Dharma Lea Dairy Farm, run by Phyllis and Paul Van Amburgh, has received two EQIP conservation grants through the USDA/NRCS, which they are using to promote soil health through planned grazing, adding organic matter into hay bales, and addressing manure storage to keep it from running off into the clean ground water.
Schumer explained that the 2018 Farm Bill is set to expire in September of this year, and if no action is taken by Congress, there will be severe consequences for farmers in Upstate New York and across the country. Schumer is now launching an all-out push to protect the billions in federal funding for EQIP and other conservation programs in the upcoming Farm Bill. As Congress begins negotiations for the 2023 Farm Bill, Schumer will make this funding a top priority, ensuring that farmers in Schoharie, the Capital Region, and throughout Upstate NY have the support they need. Schumer explained that the only way to protect the EQIP program is for Congress to come together in a bipartisan fashion, as they have always done, to reauthorize these programs in the 2023 Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill is typically enacted every five to seven years. The current Farm Bill, which was passed in 2018, is set to expire on September 30th, 2023.