PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 17, 2021 


A perfect storm is putting a strain on blood-bank supplies; Congress approves Juneteenth as a national holiday.


2021Talks - June 17, 2021 


VP Harris meets with Texas lawmakers; Congress passes Juneteenth bill; Senate holds hearing on Women's Health Protection Act; and advocates rally for paid leave.

Farm Bill Expiration Stalls Conservation Efforts on Farms

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Ebel Grasslands Ranch sits on 525 acres of native grasses near Sulphur Springs, where it has been a family farm for more than 100 years. (Ebel Grasslands Ranch)
Ebel Grasslands Ranch sits on 525 acres of native grasses near Sulphur Springs, where it has been a family farm for more than 100 years. (Ebel Grasslands Ranch)
 By Stephanie CarsonContact
October 8, 2018

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas — While Senators were moving forward with the confirmation of the next Supreme Court justice, what wasn't moving on Capitol Hill was the Farm Bill that expired a week ago.

While the legislation largely stalled over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the people who grow the food and livestock that feed us all also were impacted. One of them is Texas Rancher Karl Ebel, owner of Ebel Grasslands Ranch. He has used conservation funds to improve irrigation efficiency on his land.

"If the Farm Bill conservation funds are pulled back, guys that are trying to embrace new conservation ideas and methods, they need a push or incentive to try those methods,” Ebel said.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, Texas farmers received $116 million in conservation funding in 2016 alone, and $3.5 billion over the last 10 years. Until Congress reaches an agreement on the Farm Bill, conservation programs will be in limbo, with many already having received the funding for projects, but not having the authority to move forward.

Conservationists are urging Congress to keep funding levels strong and maintain wildlife protections for endangered species. Aviva Glaser, director of agriculture policy with the National Wildlife Federation, said these types of conservation programs help keep farms and ranches in private hands, while protecting wildlife habitat and water quality for future generations.

"It could be a lot harder to get into conservation programs if there's less funding available,” Glaser said. “So you're not able to make as much progress, you're not able to recruit new farmers and ranchers to programs if you have less funding, so it would be very problematic."

Ebel said the momentum lost while a compromise is sought is hard at a time when the agricultural industry is close to embracing conservation and reaping the rewards.

"It's a long-term type view of your land. Conservation is something that producers, but also farmers, are just now trying to take a look at,” Ebel said. “They're starting to understand that that can make a positive impact on their bottom line."

There's no word on when Congress may take up the Farm Bill, but it's not expected to be taken up again until after the midterms in the lame-duck session of Congress. Negotiators have had trouble coming to agreement up to this point.

Best Practices