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MRCC member and livestock and grain farmer from Livingston County, MO gives his insight on the direction and importance of United States Deparment of Agriculture (U.S.D.A) conservation programs:
Doug Doughty, a row crop farmer and cattle rancher from Livingston County, called the agriculture industry “off balance,” with farm programs tilted toward large farms and industrial agriculture. He also called talk about eliminating the conservation compliance requirements for crop insurance “alarming,” saying it is an important incentive for the crop insurance program.
“In return for these subsidies, here’s what we are going to give the general public: cleaner water, less erosion, less erosion of nutrients,” Doughty outlined.
Doughty has participated in both the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. He contended they introduce farmers to new practices and technology, and provide support for healthy practices already in place.
Doughty added one of the Farm Bill’s long-standing themes is stabilization. He pointed to the number of rural business, school and hospital closures and ongoing environmental degradation as evidence ag consolidation hasn’t helped stabilize rural communities or the environment.