Newhouse Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Support Farmers, Conservation
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced the Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act of 2023 alongside Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). Companion legislation was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). This bill will allocate funding for land-grant institutions to partner with local farmers to boost conservation and innovative climate practices. Farmers are already responsible stewards of the land, and this legislation empowers producers to voluntarily adopt practices that suit their individual needs while enabling the federal government to build on the successes already taking place in agricultural communities.
"There is no one who relies more on the prosperous and fruitful natural resources from our land and is dedicated to its safekeeping than our nation's farmers and ranchers. Indeed, they are the reason Central Washington is at the cutting edge of agricultural research and climate innovation,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I am proud to introduce the Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act that will provide necessary resources to local producers, land-grant universities, USDA-NRCS, and local entities so we can continue to innovate for the conservation of our agricultural land.”
“As a longtime farmer and member of the House Agriculture Committee, I know farmers are the key to meeting our climate goals. It’s essential that we actively enlist the help of those who know the land best—farmers, producers, ranchers, and forestland owners—to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rep. Pingree. “The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act will bridge the gap between farmers and innovative research—boosting innovation, combating the climate crisis, and supporting successful food and agriculture systems.”
“Our farmers are some of the best stewards of our lands, and despite decades of innovative land and water conservation efforts, they have only recently been brought into the climate conversation,” said Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) President Heather Reams. “The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act will help connect farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to continue utilizing climate-smart practices, reducing carbon emissions and creating resilient environments. CRES applauds this bipartisan, bicameral effort to promote natural climate solutions that will mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure agriculture producers have a seat at the table."
The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act of 2023, is the House companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). This legislation would do the following:
- Enable partnerships between land-grant institutions and local farmers to increase uptake of conservation and innovative climate practices.
- Allow farmers to voluntarily adopt practices that suite their individualized needs.
- Require land-grant institutions to partner with a non-profit, state, or federal entity.
- Allow the partnership to conduct a variety of activities to support farming communities like workshops, distribution of digital materials, and tests to measure the effectiveness of conservation and climate smart practices.
- Provide $13 million in funding for 4-year grants, with a maximum grant of $400,000.