MCE is committed to protecting water quality and conserving fertile soils in Missouri. We do this in part by participating in the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service’s State Technical Committee for Missouri, which guides how the Missouri NRCS office provides federal conservation program funding to Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.

The NRCS oversees multiple federal conservation programs in the federal Farm Bill, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

Since the 2018 Farm Bill passed, MCE has been busy with our partners through the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to ensure that the USDA implements changes to these important conservation programs quickly and as Congress intended. This work has included submitting public comment letters to NRCS regarding proposed rules impacting these programs. Check out two of the letters from the spring of 2020 below.

Additionally, NRCS recently proposed changes to the conservation practices that they pay farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to use through Farm Bill conservation programs. MCE submitted a public comment letter regarding these changes as well. For the most part, we were supportive of the proposed changes but did have concern with the practice related to the treatment of animal waste. This practice relates to the treatment of animal waste from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, which pose numerous public health and environmental threats. Read our comment letter below to learn more.