FB Farm Bill Series: The Importance of EQIP

Farmers and ranchers depend on farm bill programs for many reasons, including improving their land. Idaho Farm Bureau member Jason Fellows says programs like EQIP, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, are essential for improving sustainability.

“I was able to actually do an EQIP project four years ago. But the really neat thing was my grandpa did an EQIP project on the same tract of land in 1957. And so, it’s never ending that we can be more sustainable and focus on those things that truly help protect us as farmers and ranchers but also help protect the land. But an EQIP program is an incentive-based program that if you look at how to be a more sustainable farmer there’s some incentives to help you implement those practices on your farm.” 

Fellows says Congress needs to pass a farm bill this year, not just to promote environmental sustainability but also to promote economic sustainability.

“Because the prosperity and the future of our nation depends on a secure and sustainable food system. I don’t think we recognize exactly what the Farm Bill does for everyday Americans. And being able to feed everybody in the nation is what we need to be focused on. It helps everybody in our nation have food to eat and fiber to live off of.” 

Fellows encourages all farmers and ranchers to tell their lawmakers the importance of the farm bill to their operation/

“We need to focus on connecting the dots. Some of our elected officials don’t recognize the farm bill affects everyday people, and we need to connect the dots not only for our congressmen, but also for average Americans to help them recognize what the farm bill does for each and every one of us every day. But definitely telling them our story and what the farm bill can do to protect our sustainable food system, and it gives us that safety net so we continue to have prosperity in our nation.” 

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