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Helping conservation efforts thrive

By Staff | Mar 20, 2020

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst isn’t one of those politicians who is primarily concerned with ways to gain media attention. The Iowa Republican is a hard worker who puts a priority on actually achieving results rather than just garnering favorable publicity. Ernst recognizes that to improve how the federal government serves her constituents, it is often necessary to put partisan politics aside and work collaboratively with Democratic colleagues in the Senate.

That’s why when the 2018 Farm Bill was making its way through Congress she teamed with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan., to get important provisions included in that landmark legislation. The two senators worked together to make sure that legislation strengthened and improved the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Now those efforts are about to benefit farmers. The measures Ernst and Stabenow championed are being implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A pending draft regulation, when finally approved, will do so.

“Working across the aisle, I successfully secured bipartisan provisions in the most recent Farm Bill to incentivize rural and urban partnerships for conservation,” Ernst said in a statement regarding the USDA’s actions. “By cutting Washington’s bureaucratic red tape, we’re providing our farmers – the first conservationists – with greater flexibility in their efforts to improve water quality and soil health. I urge Iowans to provide their input on this rule, and I commend Secretary (Sonny) Perdue for helping put our efforts into action.”

The new USDA regulation will:

– Increase flexibility for conservation projects by allowing more diverse options than were possible in the past.

– Cut bureaucratic red tape in the application process.

– Provide enhanced guidance on how to track the impact of projects being funded.

Ernst is well positioned to look out for the interests of Iowa’s farm communities. She chairs the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy. In addition to the Farm Bill provisions Ernst partnered with Stabenow to get into the legislation, the Iowan also got her congressional colleagues to include modifications that will make stronger the well-regarded Conservation Reserve Program.

There’s too much political posturing in Washington and too little dedication to finding solutions to our nation’s problems.

Farm News salutes the approach Ernst takes to representing Iowa in the U.S. Senate. She works hard. She makes getting things done her priority. Ernst doesn’t just talk about her goals – she achieves them. Congress would better serve the public if more of its members emulated Ernst’s emphasis on accomplishments.

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