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News and Updates

Recent FarmBill Advocates Updates

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Update: April 1, 2015

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Applications Open!

Today, Secretary Vilsack announced that applications are open for Fiscal Year 2015 funding for ACEP. Applications are due May 15.

Previously, NRCS released its interim final rule and policy manual for ACEP, along with the minimum deed terms. We are reviewing them to make sure they work for land trusts across the country.


May 27, 2014: Regional Conservation Partnership Program Applications Open!

Today, Secretary Vilsack announced that applications are open for the new RCPP established in the 2014 Farm Bill. RCPP works on a broad, regional scale to leverage funding through agreements with producers and private landowners. For more background on RCPP, see below.

There are eight critical conservation areas (CCAs) as designated by the Secretary that are given priority for funding.

May 16: Agricultural Land Easement Program Listening Sessions

The Alliance hosted two " listening sessions " with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to answer questions about the new Agricultural Land Easement Program applications and what NRCS is asking for.


May 1: Agricultural Land Easements Program Applications Available Now!

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that applications for conservation programs, including the Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE) are now available for land trusts and other organizations.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP aims to fund organizations to use more than one NRCS program (such as the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), involve multiple partners, leverage resources, and result in real and measurable conservation results.

RCPP coordinates the delivery of other conservation programs in a region or specific geographic area. The RCPP will have $170 million a year of funding, with projects chosen and funds allocated by the Secretary, by NRCS in DC, and by State Conservationists.


April 15, 2014

The Alliance hosted two "listening sessions" with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on what worked well and what didn't for the easement programs in the last Farm Bill. These sessions will be used by NRCS to help inform the rules for the new Agricultural Land Easements Program.


February 19
The Alliance is hosting today a national call on the Farm Bill to discuss what happens next for rule-making, different ways to say thank you to your Members of Congress and what's new in the bill.

Sign up for FarmBill Advocates and stay updated on next steps on rule-making and ways to stay involved!

View more updates below.

2014 FarmBill Advocates Updates

To sign up for FarmBillAdvocates, click here. View older updates here.


Older Updates & News

February 7: President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law today in Lansing, Michigan at 2pm ET.

February 4: The Senate voted this afternoon to send the Farm Bill conference report to the President. President Obama has indicated that he will sign the legislation soon. The vote was 68-32. Read more here.

If your Members of Congress voted to pass the Farm Bill, please take a moment to say thank you. See below for our tips on different ways to say thanks, using social media and templates for print media.

January 31: The Senate will vote for the conference report on Monday afternoon, starting at 2:15. It is expected to pass. Please view our template press release for sharing this news of an investment of over 1 billion in conservation programs.

  • See Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) speak on the Senate floor about the conservation programs in the Farm Bill, and the benefits of the cost-share waiver he championed.

January 29: The House voted by a solid majority to approve the Farm Bill conference report by a vote of 251-166. Next, the Senate will vote, likely next week.

January 28: The Alliance today submitted letters to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees endorsing the final conference report and urging swift passage of the legislation in both chambers.

The House is expected to vote on a rule this afternoon that will set the limits of debate for final passage of the bill tomorrow morning.

January 27: The four leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have announced an agreement on the 2014 Farm Bill conference report. After years of debate and negotiation, the final bill is set for a House vote as soon as Wednesday.

Check back here for regular updates.

What This Legislation Means For Conservation

The 2014 Farm Bill will generate more than one billion dollars for saving working farm and ranch lands.  The bill will keep working farms and ranches in family hands and reinvest dollars, keeping local communities vital.  It will help ensure that local food will be available in farming communities across the United States. Moreover, this bill will help to create and secure jobs, helping to restore and maintain our ways of life.



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Advocates Alerts

February 12: The House successfully voted 279-137, demonstrating a supermajority (67%) of support, on H.R. 644, a package of charitable incentives including the conservation tax incentive.Now we need your help in the Senate to secure co-sponsors! Sens. Heller and Stabenow have requested land trusts’ assistance in asking senators to cosponsor S. 330, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act. Learn more »

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Congress wrestles with tax breaks for open space

July 29, 2014 | Poughkeepsie Journal | NY

House passes Gerlach conservation tax break bill, now up to Senate

July 18, 2014 | The Mercury News | Pottstown, PA

The Time is Now for Congress to Act on Conservation

July 15, 2014 | Politico | Washington, D.C.

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