"Conservation work is not lacking in rural America today," says Farm Foundation President Constance Cullman. "Farmers and landowners use conservation practices to protect soil and water, which they consider high-value operational assets. Federal and state programs exist to help finance some of that conservation work. We also have private ventures seeking to initiate conservation or protect farm and ranch land from development for non-agricultural uses."
The forum will explore whether collaborations of those public and private efforts would yield better results for conservation goals. "We want to identify the challenges and opportunities of public-private collaboration. Who benefits? What hurdles exist? What goals could be met? What are the policy challenges?" Cullman says. "As Congress begins work on the next Farm Bill, it is a great time to examine this issue." Participating forum panelists will be:
- Jonathan Coppess, director of the Gardner Agricultural Policy Program at the University of Illinois
- John Piotti, president and CEO of American Farmland Trust
- Josette Lewis, associate vice president of ecosystems/sustainable agriculture, Environmental Defense Fund
- Laura Peterson, manager of federal government relations at Syngenta.
The forum is free to attend, but you must pre-register. Click here to register to attend the forum in person. Click here to participate in the live audiocast. After the session, audio from the session will be available to download from the Farm Foundation website.