December 7, 2022 (WASHINGTON, DC) – Yesterday, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a virtual briefing titled “Beyond the Farm – A Look at Fish and Wildlife Conservation Priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill” to discuss priorities shared by the sporting-conservation community as we near the reauthorization of the U.S. Farm Bill next year. Nearly 100 attendees joined the discussion which featured officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Congressional staff, and representatives from the sporting-conservation community who came together to discuss opportunities for landowners, hunters, anglers, and others, as negotiations surrounding the 2023 Farm Bill begin.
Reauthorized every five years, the United States Farm Bill includes everything from federal crop insurance to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Of particular importance to sportsmen and women, the Farm Bill’s Conservation Title (Title II), currently funded at nearly $30 billion, represents the single largest federal investment in private lands conservation in the nation. With the current Farm Bill set to expire in 2023, advocating for a strong Conservation Title remains a top priority for many in the sporting-conservation arena. With benefits that extend well beyond the boundaries of participating properties, the conservation values supported through the Farm Bill’s programs are an integral part of promoting partnerships with private landowners to promote fish and wildlife conservation considerations while supporting our nation’s producers.
“As the single largest source of private lands conservation funding in the United States, and likely the world, the Farm Bill’s Conservation Title is an obvious opportunity for unity within the sporting-conservation community. Thanks to the voluntary opportunities made available through the Conservation Title, the contributions of America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to the conservation of our nation’s public trust fish and wildlife resources cannot be overstated,” said CSF President and CEO Jeff Crane. “We appreciate the suite of speakers who joined us for this briefing as we continue to support the Farm Bill’s voluntary conservation programs that benefit those who feed, clothe, and fuel the world, while supporting the fish and wildlife that mean so much to us as sportsmen and women.”
Tuesday’s discussion featured two panels. The speakers in Panel I were Sean Babington from USDA, Callie Eideberg from the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and Josh Maxwell from the House Agriculture Committee. The speakers in Panel II were James Cummins from Wildlife Mississippi, John Devney of Delta Waterfowl, CSF’s own Chris Horton, and Jenny Conner Nelms from The Nature Conservancy.
Stay tuned to CSF’s newsletter, The Sportsmen’s Voice, for updates as the Farm Bill is developed in 2023.