WASHINGTON– The National Farmers Union (NFU) was pleased by the recent introduction of The Improving Access to Farm Conservation Act of 2016 (H.R. 5451), which would ease burdensome reporting requirements for landowners participating in voluntary U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation programs.
“Historically, family farmers and ranchers have been our best soil and water conservationists, and I’m pleased to see bipartisan legislation aimed at removing onerous barriers that might discourage landowners from participating in beneficial USDA conservation programs,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.
The bill, introduced by Representatives Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), would exempt recipients of USDA conservation assistance from needing to register with the System for Award Management (SAM) and obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. The current law requires this reporting in order to receive financial assistance from federal agencies.
“Restrictive reporting requirements erode economic incentives and restrict flexibility for landowners to participate in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service programs that help foster sustainability and sound conservation practices. We offer our support of initiatives that would lessen the regulatory burden on conservation incentives for our nearly 200,000 family farmer and rancher members,” Johnson concluded.