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Government Agencies and Programs

Government Agencies and Programs

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Government Agencies and Programs

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  1. Government Agencies and Programs Chapter 20

  2. USDA Agencies • USDA was established in 1862 • To provide assistance for farmers: • Soil and water management • Other facets of agriculture • Many work through state or local groups • Was reorganized and streamlined in 1994 • Some agencies eliminated or merged

  3. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) • Main research arm of USDA • Established in 1953 • Basic and applied research in agriculture • Participated in the development of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) • Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation • Publish the magazine Agriculture Research • Reports their current projects

  4. Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service • (CSREES) Replaces old Cooperative Extension Service • Merges extension and research at Agricultural Experiment Stations • Located at land-grant universities • Jointly funded by state and federal dollars • Personnel funded by CSREES may have: • Extension appointments • Research assignments • Teaching positions at the college • Combination of the three

  5. Consolidated Farm Service Agency • (CFSA) • Created by merging of ASCS and FmHA • Administers a number of funding programs and two major soil conservation programs • Many activities are administered at state and local levels • Committees of local growers in Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) • Conservation programs utilize NRCS tech expertise

  6. Natural Resources Conservation Service • (NRCS) • Replaces older Soil Conservation Service established in 1935 by Congress • Provides variety of assistance • Technical support to CFSA programs • Aid CFSA in establishing conservation policy • Conduct soil surveys jointly with Agriculture Experiment Stations • Administer non-CFSA conservation programs • Tech assistance in resource management issues such as fish and wildlife habitat, pasture, and range • Conduct National Resource Inventory every five years – status and trends of nation’s soil and water

  7. Soil and Water Conservation Districts • (SWCD) – Many USDA agencies operate through SWCD local authority • President Roosevelt proposed model for creating SWCD to state governors in 1937 • Almost all states now have such districts • Follow county boundaries • Actual role varies state to state • Many have NRCS soil scientists assigned for technical aid

  8. USDA Conservation Programs • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) • Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs • Conservation Compliance Programs • Clean Water Act • Additionally, State and Local Efforts

  9. Environmental Quality Incentives Program • (EQIP) • Authorized by the 1996 Farm Bill • Combined several cost-sharing programs • Administered by CFSA and NRCS • Helps growers in soil and water conservation efforts • Provides money on a cost-share basis • Growers enter into five- and ten-year agreements with USDA

  10. Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs • (CRP) • The Food Security Act of 1985 created CRP • Purchases ten-year conservation easements from growers • Growers plant land to permanent cover • Targets highly erodable land • 1996 Farm Bill shifted CRP priorities to emphasize environmentally sensitive areas

  11. Conservation Compliance Programs • Sometimes called “Sodbuster” • Requires growers to take certain conservation measures to remain eligible for federal price-support programs • Example: growers submit and execute soil erosion-control plans for highly erodable land • Wetlands may also be protected • “Swampbuster” provisions of Farm Bill – deny eligibility for other USDA programs to growers who drain and farm certain wetlands

  12. Clean Water Act • Section 404 protects many of the nation’s wetlands by requiring permits to discharge dredged or fill materials in wetlands, streams, rivers, and other waters of the US • Most growers activities are exempt • Except: conversion of wetlands to new use filling for parking lots, other development • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enforces • EPA, NRCS, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife involvement and input to Section 404 as well

  13. State and Local Efforts • States and localities also have laws and programs, such as • Soil and Water Districts • Agricultural Experiment Stations • Extension Services • Others • Many local and state laws involve controlling land use, such as zoning laws.