Alternative Agriculture News, 3/97
Alternative Agriculture News
Henry A. Wallace Institute for
9200 Edmonston Road, #117
Greenbelt, MD 20770
* * *
If You Are Interested in Sustainable Agriculture...
In addition to this monthly newsletter, the Henry A. Wallace
Institute for Alternative Agriculture publishes the American
Journal of Alternative Agriculture, a quarterly, peer-reviewed
journal of research on alternative agriculture. It is a
scientific forum for disseminating technical, economic, and
social research findings about the character and requirements of
alternative agriculture systems.
The current issue (Volume 11, No. 4) includes articles on a
first study of managing vertebrates in cover crops, the links
between pesticide use and pesticide residues, and production-side
progress and demand-side constraints in sustainable agriculture
in the Corn Belt. Abstracts from the conference on
"Environmental Enhancement Through Agriculture," sponsored by the
Wallace Institute, Tufts University, and American Farmland Trust
in November, 1995, are also in the new issue of the Wallace
Institute's quarterly peer-reviewed journal of research on
alternative agriculture. Subscriptions to AJAA are $44 for
libraries, $24 for individuals, and $12 for students; contact the
Wallace Institute, 9200 Edmonston Road, #117, Greenbelt, MD
20770; (301) 441-8777; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents:
Campaign Analysis Finds Support for Herd Size Limits 1
President's 1998 Budget Maintains Sustainable Ag Funding 3
Wallace Family, Institute Leaders Featured in New Book 4
New CRP Rule Will Increase Eligibility and Protected Acreage4
Upcoming Events 5
CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS FINDS SUPPORT FOR HERD SIZE LIMITS IN EQIP
Analysis by the National Campaign for Sustainable
Agriculture of public comments on a proposed USDA rule found that
a clear majority supports setting national limits on the size of
livestock operations eligible for assistance from the new
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). "Our detailed
analysis reveals that more than three out of four respondents
favor setting national limits on the size of livestock operations
eligible for assistance from EQIP," said Kathleen Merrigan,
Senior Analyst at the Wallace Institute and a member of the
Campaign. "Of the 393 letters received on the issue of herd
sizes, 305 supported national limits."
The Farm Bill stipulates that large confinement operations
are not eligible for EQIP payments, but leaves it up to the
Secretary of Agriculture to define large operations. The draft
USDA rule for EQIP would set no limits on the size of livestock
operations eligible for EQIP assistance, which would result in
"corporate welfare for large operations to comply with the Clean
Water Act," according to the Campaign. The Campaign had asked
people to write to the USDA to urge herd size limits, to
encourage alternative manure management practices, and to
prohibit subsidies of large open manure lagoons.
Merrigan and other members of the Campaign last month read
the 1,002 public comments received by the USDA on the EQIP
program, with a goal of undertaking an independent analysis of
public comment that could be communicated to policymakers.
Letters on the proposed rule came from 37 different states,
according to the Campaign analysis. Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and
Minnesota were the states with the most responses, accounting for
almost 55 percent of the respondents on herd size limits; Iowa
writers represented more than 20 percent.
"I was encouraged to see so many letters from family farmers
urging [USDA] Secretary [Dan] Glickman to reverse his decision
and set meaningful national limits," said Merrigan. "Many of
them argued that Glickman should fulfill the intent of Congress
and make sure that EQIP is targeted to help small and moderate
sized farms. Respondents were particularly concerned that
without national limits, tax dollars would be used to subsidize
large corporate livestock operations in the building and
operation of more large manure lagoons. These lagoons are
responsible for serious water pollution problems."
Of the 305 letters that supported herd size limits, 108
asked the USDA to give priority to alternative livestock waste
practices; 125 urged the USDA to prohibit money for open manure
lagoons. "I urge Secretary Glickman to listen to these voices
from the grassroots and set national limits," said Merrigan. "It
is the only way to assure the public that EQIP will not become
just another government subsidy for large corporate farms."
The Campaign supports strong national standards defining
large scale confinement operations limits. It also supports
using the Clean Water Act definition of a large livestock
operation which would deny EQIP funds to operations with more
than 100,000 chickens, 2,500 hogs, or 1,000 beef cattle on the
farm at a given time. States would be free to set stricter
limits. The program could then work to help small and moderate
sized farmers correct any environmental problems that arise on
their farms, according to the Campaign.
The Campaign has encouraged the USDA to target EQIP's
resources to moderate and smaller livestock farms, and to focus
EQIP on the low cost, low tech practices that can best be used by
smaller and moderate operations, such as rotational grazing,
pasture improvement, manure composting, and nutrient testing.
PRESIDENT'S 1998 BUDGET MAINTAINS SUSTAINABLE AG FUNDING
The USDA budget submitted by President Clinton for Fiscal
Year 1998, which begins in October, maintains funding for most
sustainable agriculture programs. It includes a request to
double the funding for the Organic Foods Production Act, and an
increase of $13 million for integrated pest management. Here are
the proposed appropriations for several sustainable agriculture
SARE: An $8 million appropriation is requested for the
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, the same
as the FY97 appropriation.
SAPDP: A $3.3 million appropriation is requested for the
SARE (Chapter 3) Professional Development Program, the same as
the FY97 appropriation.
ATTRA: A $1.3 million appropriation is requested for
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, the same as the
OFPA: A $1 million appropriation is requested for the
Organic Foods Production Act, a doubling of the FY97
appropriation of $500,000.
In addition, the following amounts were requested for
CFO: A $15 million appropriation is requested for the new
Conservation Farm Option, created to foster innovation in natural
resource protection and enhancement.
EQIP: A $200 million appropriation is requested for the
Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the same as the FY97
WRP: A $164 million appropriation is requested for the
Wetlands Reserve Program, an increase from the FY97 appropriation
of $119 million.
CFSA: A $2.5 million appropriation is requested for the
Community Food Security Act, the same as the FY97 appropriation.
FRA: A $100 million appropriation is requested for the Fund
for Rural America, the same as the FY97 appropriation.
"Grazing on Public Lands" is $20 from Council for
Agricultural Science and Technology, 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames,
IA 50014-3347; (515) 292-2125 or 1-800-375-CAST.
"A Geography of Hope: America's Private Land," published by
the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, is available
at no charge for single copies at 1-800-THE-SOIL.
"The Balanced Budget Amendment: Implications for
Agriculture" is free from Environmental Working Group, 1718
Connecticut Ave., NW, #600, Washington, D.C. 20009; (202) 667-
6982; on the World Wide Web at http://www.ewg.org.
Proceedings from "Building Local Partnerships: Water
Quality, Watersheds and You," held in January, 1997, are $12.50
from Robin Pruisner, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University,
Ames, IA 50011-1010; (515) 294-6429.
"Successful Whole Farm Planning: Essential Elements
Recommended by the Great Lakes Basin Farm Planning Network" is $6
from the Minnesota Project, 1885 University Ave. West, #315, St.
Paul, MN 55104; (612) 645-6159; e-mail email@example.com.
"Direct Marketing and Related Topics," citations from the
AGRICOLA database, is available from Alternative Farming Systems
Information Center, National Agricultural Library, USDA, 10301
Baltimore Ave., Room 304, Beltsville, MD 20705-2351; (301) 504-
6559; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
WALLACE FAMILY, SEVERAL INSTITUTE LEADERS FEATURED IN NEW BOOK
The Wallace family and several leaders of the Wallace
Institute are featured in Iowans Who Made a Difference: 150 Years
of Agricultural Progress, a 367-page book written by Don Muhm and
Virginia Wadsley and published by the Iowa Farm Bureau
Federation. "Iowa's Premier Agricultural Family: The Wallaces"
is an entire chapter devoted to the Wallace family, beginning
with "Uncle Henry" Wallace, grandfather of Henry A. Wallace.
Several pages describe the accomplishments of Henry A. Wallace --
Secretary of Agriculture, Vice President, and the man for whom
the Wallace Institute is named. "The emergency policies he
established in the Agricultural Adjustment Act, passed shortly
after he took office, have served as the foundation for
government agriculture programs for over 60 years." Also
included in the chapter is his daughter, Jean Wallace Douglas,
the Wallace Institute's Honorary President, who heads the Wallace
Genetic Foundation and "has given major support to sustainable
agriculture ventures and environmental projects."
Another chapter profiles "150 Who Made Such a Difference,"
150 Iowans "who have made particularly significant contributions
to agriculture," including these Wallace Institute leaders:
Norman A. Berg, a current member of the Wallace Institute's
President's Council and former Chief of the USDA's Soil
Conservation Service, "one of the strongest advocates for wise
land-use and conserving the nation's natural resources."
Paul Johnson, a former Wallace Institute Board Member and
Chief of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, "the
chief architect and sponsor of one of the most historic and far-
reaching environmental programs ever enacted by the Iowa
legislature -- the 'Groundwater Protection Act' that became a
Dick and Sharon Thompson, whose on-farm research receives
funding from the Wallace Institute; Dick Thompson is a former
Wallace Institute Board Member. "The demonstration aspect of
their farm has not only played an important role in technology
transfer, but it has also convinced other farmers, through
positive results, that the new practices are worth attempting."
Tom Urban, a current Wallace Institute Board Member and
former President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Pioneer Hi-
Bred International, who "combined business education knowledge
with knowledge of the farmer, maturing into a futuristic leader
on the cutting edge of today's international business world."
NEW CRP RULE WILL INCREASE ELIGIBILITY AND PROTECTED ACREAGE
Final regulations announced last month by the USDA will
increase the number of acres eligible for the Conservation
Reserve Program, and increase the number of acres the program
protects from 32.9 million acres to 36.4 million acres, according
to the USDA. The CRP is a voluntary program that allows
landowners to place environmentally sensitive cropland in long-
term conservation practices. "The final rule greatly increases
the amount of cropland eligible for CRP, a blow to improved
environmental targeting," said Ferd Hoefner of the Sustainable
Agriculture Coalition. "The land the USDA has added for
eligibility is land that can be farmed sustainably and
productively -- they would be taking it out of farming and
Lightstone Foundation Farm Center seeks an apprentice
farmer; send letter, resume, and references to Lightstone
Foundation, Inc., HC63, Box 73, Moyers, W.V. 26813; (304) 249-
5200; e-mail email@example.com.
Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation seeks a
research coordinator to conduct on-farm research on organic farm
in Lompoc, CA; send resume and three reference letters to Dr.
Sharon Hornick, Executive Director, 720 11th St., B-5,
Bellingham, WA 98225.
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension seeks an
extension educator to represent extension staff on Nebraska
IMPACT Project, with Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and
Center for Rural Affairs; Master's degree required; send letter,
resume, three references, and college transcripts by March 28 to
Keith Niemann, Director of Extension Human Resources, University
of Nebraska, 211 Agricultural Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0703; (402)
Ferrell Ranch seeks a day herder from May through mid-
October; contact Pete Ferrell, Dances with Hooves, Box 59,
Beaumont, KS 67012; (316) 843-1888.
Country Pleasures Farm seeks two interns for '97 season;
send letter and resume to Eric and Marty Rice, Country Pleasures
Farm, 6201 Harley Road, Middletown, MD 21769; (301) 371-4814; e-
Licking Creek Bend Farm seeks farmworkers from April through
November; send resume and self-addressed stamped envelope to Mike
Tabor, 706 Erie Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.
March 27, Organic Tree Fruit Workshop will be held in Yakima
Valley, WA; contact Tim Smith, Washington State University
Cooperative Extension, Chelan County, (509) 664-5540; Dana
Faubion, Yakima County, (509) 574-1600; Miles McEvoy, Washington
State Department of Agriculture, Olympia, (360) 902-1924; Phil
Unterschutz, Wenatchee, 1-800-332-3179.
April-August, National Catholic Rural Life Conference will
hold regional conferences on sustainable local communities: April
25-27, Franklin, N.H.; June 6-8, St. Mary of the Woods, IN; July
11-13, Donaldson, IN; July 18-19, Amarillo, TX; July 23-25,
Sinsinawa, WI; and August 16-18, Aberdeen, S.D.; contact NCRLC at
(515) 270-2634; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 2-9, Ranching for Profit School will be held in
Kerrville, TX; contact Elaine Kelly, Ranch Management
Consultants, 7719 Rio Grande Blvd., NW, Albuquerque, N.M. 87107;
April 13-16, "Conflict and Cooperation on Trans-Boundary
Water Resources," the fifth meeting of the International Water
and Resource Economics Consortium, will be held in Annapolis, MD;
contact Liesl Koch, Department of Agricultural and Resource
Economics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; (301)
405-0057; e-mail email@example.com.
April 14-15, "Interactions: Investigating Ecosystem Dynamics
at the Watershed Level" will be held in Athens, GA; contact
Jennifer Pemble, Soil and Water Conservation Society, 1-800-843-
7645 ext. 18.