If you don’t know, it’s been years since Congress passed a Farm Bill and many of its provisions have been widely debated for just as long. On February 4, the Senate passed the bill and now it’s headed to the President’s desk for final approval.
This version of the Farm Bill is truly exciting. It includes a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, or RCPP, that Save the Dunes and many conservation organizations have been pushing for. The RCPP is designed to support partnerships between farmers and non-farming entities to tackle various conservation and environmental issues on a regoinal scale. The RCPP specifically calls out municipal water and wastewater utilities as eligible entities to form regional partnerships with farmers and provides an excellent opportunity for interested utilities to implement innovative nutrient management solutions with agricultural non-point sources to improve local water quality. This is great news for the Great Lakes and Northwest Indiana, because it uses a regional, collaborative approach to address nutrient-related water quality challenges in a more affordable way. Save the Dunes has long worked on a watershed-wide basis to protect water quality and it’s exciting to have a new Farm Bill that will do the same.
For more information about the Farm Bill’s new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, RCPPs as part of Farm Bill 2014.