Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18) and Rep. Jim Costa (CA-20) recently announced the availability of an additional $9.5 million in funding through the 2008 Farm Bill’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The funds go to California farmers seeking to make on farm improvements that will help air quality, water quality or conserve water.
The recent federal arguments over the debt ceiling and budget cuts have failed to distinguish between good spending and bad spending. At CalCAN, we are pleased to see these funds released in part because they are examples of wise public investments. Dollars spent on farm conservation programs have multiple benefits-protecting ecosystems services, increasing on-farm biodiversity and resilience to climate change, in some cases enhancing carbon sequestration, supporting innovative farmers doing environmental stewardship, and supporting rural economies.