Washington, D.C.

In the U.S. capital, AFT is a trusted advocate for conservation and the nation's family farmers and ranchers.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AFT advocates for family farmers and ranchers in the halls of Congress and in federal agencies and departments. A trusted partner, we work on both sides of the aisle, in committee rooms and personal offices.

We educate members of Congress and staffers about the importance of conservation for soil and water health, threats to farmland, and the urgent need to support new markets for family farmers. We work with USDA agencies to ensure that conservation programs are implemented as envisioned and that they benefit both family farmers and the environment.

And we represent family farms and farmers to a diverse coalition of conservation, agricultural and anti-hunger organizations.

Our advocacy successes include:

AFT championed the creation of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, an innovative approach to federal conservation programs. In the past, USDA's conservation focus was mainly on individual farms. The new RCPP (passed in the 2014 Farm Bill) enables multiple farms and landowners within a defined region to rally around landscape-level programs and achieve greater impact.

"American Farmland Trust is a valued partner in the RCPP."—NRCS Chief Jason Weller

Working with key allies, AFT fought hard to protect critical conservation funding in the 2014 Farm Bill cycle. AFT was successful in protecting more than $57 billion in conservation funding over 10 years. These funds will be reinvested in programs for farmland protection, clean water and air and wildlife habitat.

As part of these 2014 efforts, AFT members and supporters flooded Capitol Hill with more than 45,000 e-mails in support of conservation priorities.

With programs ranging from conservation to nutrition assistance and rural development, the Farm Bill affects every single American.

AFT achieved historic reform by linking crop insurance premium subsidies to conservation compliance.

In the 2008 Farm Bill, AFT played an influential role in many important improvements for conservation, renewable energy, the farm safety net, and expansion of local foods.

AFT's efforts led to the creation of a national farmland protection program, the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, in the 1996 Farm Bill.

Our report Soil Conservation in America: What Do We Have to Lose? helped lead to the creation of the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the 1985 Farm Bill.


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