2023 Farm Bill - American Farmland Trust

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2023 Farm Bill Policy Platform

A Vision for the Future of Agriculture in America

Drawing on decades of pioneering leadership at the intersection of agriculture and the environment, AFT has a vision for a resilient agricultural future in which:  

  • America’s agricultural land base is secure. 
  • Farmers and landowners have the resources they need to permanently protect their land from development.  
  • Producers operate thriving, viable businesses while feeding their communities nutritious food. 
  • Farmers and ranchers are recognized and rewarded not just for the food, feed, fiber, and fuel they produce, but also for the environmental benefits they provide.  
  • A diverse new generation can afford to purchase farmland, build wealth, and contribute to a productive food system. 
  • Producers and service providers benefit from easier access to government programs and technical assistance. 

To achieve this vision, we need YOU to join us in advocating for forward-thinking programs and policies and bold congressional leadership. The 2023 Farm Bill represents our best chance to address the challenges our farmers and ranchers face, and chart a course to this more resilient farm economy and food system.

Read AFT’s 2023 Farm Bill policy agenda.

Help Build a Transformational 2023 Farm Bill

Take action today and tell your elected representatives to seize this opportunity and support a Farm Bill in 2023 that builds a more resilient farm and food system while helping to solve the modern challenges facing agricultural producers.

Take Action

Protect Our Threatened Agricultural Land Base

Federal policy should be harnessed to enable more landowners to voluntarily protect their land in perpetuity and to reduce development of America’s most productive agricultural land. USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) permanently protects agricultural land from development with its Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE) component. ALE easements ensure land remains available for future food production and offer landowners an alternative to selling off property as a way to finance farm expansion, family needs, retirement, or to pay down debt. In addition, easements can help to make land more affordable for the next generation. The federal government can also do more to reduce the footprint of infrastructure projects it funds on productive agricultural land.

Read AFT’s full Farmland Protection recommendations

Increase Adoption of Conservation Practices 

Supporting innovative farmers and ranchers in adopting conservation practices is key to adapting to and mitigating climate change while also improving water and air quality, soil health, and even farm profitability. Farm Bill conservation programs provide cost share and technical assistance (TA) to help producers implement these practices, but these programs often need more funding and staff to address service gaps and fulfill demand. More must be done to equitably scale up long-term adoption of conservation and climate-smart practices by farmer-leaders, and to set up systems of support to help others build the same resilience.

Read AFT’s full Conservation and Climate recommendations 

Support a Diverse New Generation in Accessing Land and Launching Successful Businesses  

As we face an unprecedented transfer of land from one generation to the next, we need bold investments in programs that directly support both retiring and aspiring farmers in succession and estate planning, farm transfer, and farmland access and ownership. USDA is a key partner in scaling up successful state and local models that can facilitate land transition and open the door for next generation farmers.

Read AFT’s full Farmland Access and Business Technical Assistance recommendations 

How These Recommendations Were Developed

To support the development of AFT’s 2023 farm bill agenda, AFT gathered stakeholder input through 16 workshops hosted across the nation. From over 300+ farmers and ranchers, service providers, farm and environmental groups, researchers, and other key stakeholders who attended, participants told us about the challenges they face, the barriers they experience in accessing farm support programs and adopting conservation practices, and what farmers and ranchers producers need to build resilient, profitable businesses. AFT is deeply grateful for their time, passion, and dedication, and for their contributions in shaping this agenda.

Coming Fall 2022

  • White Paper on Farmland Protection 
  • White Paper on Climate Change Impacts and Opportunities to Build Resilience in Agriculture 
  • White Paper on Improving NRCS Conservation Programs 
  • White Paper on Federal Matching Funds for State Soil Health Programs 
  • White Paper on Crop Insurance and Conservation 
  • White Paper on Farmland Transfer and Access 

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