ACEP Fully Funded for 2015!

Last week, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion, 1,600 page spending bill. This bill funds all of the federal government through next September, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security. (DHS is only funded through February, in retaliation for President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration.) This spending bill was a huge step forward for Congress – in past years, Congress was only able to agree to continue funding at current levels. This year’s bill is a real appropriation and it allowed Congress to reexamine funding levels for all federal programs. As our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition have reported in detail, the final bill was a blow for agriculture overall. USDA and the FDA funding levels were cut - $305 million below last year’s funding. Unfortunately, Congress failed to fund Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) again this year. These matched savings accounts have been authorized by the Farm Bill since 2008, but have yet to receive funding. We will continue to fight for the IDA program to receive its relatively modest authorized funding amount of $5 million per year. There is, however, one bright spot in the bill. We are excited to report that the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP[...]Read More