From Colorado to Washington, DC, How one NYFC Member’s farm bill proposal made it to the Senate

When the Senate Agriculture Committee passed their draft farm bill out of committee on June 13, they also passed an amendment with a programmatic tweak to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This tweak creates a “microEQIP” pilot program to make it easier for small farms to access this conservation program. Although it’s a small change in statute, it could have a big impact for young farmers, making it easier to get a small contract with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to put in cover crops, update irrigation systems, or switch to rotational grazing, to name a few. Although few people in the room knew it when the amendment passed, microEQIP is an ‘NYFC original’, hashed out over beers at the 2016 National Leadership Convergence, and passed on to the policy team to develop it further. In this guest blog, Mike Nolan, one of the idea creators and president of the Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition, takes us through the microEQIP initiative and what it means for young farmers. Back in November of 2016, I had the privilege of attending the 2nd annual NYFC convergence in San Diego, CA. Farmers and ranchers from all over the country gathered to share ideas, make connections and do what they[...]Read More