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Over the next year, Congress will be working on a new farm bill that will reauthorize the federal government's support for farmers all across America. They will decide how $170 billion in funds will be allocated over the next 10 years. American Farmland Trust's research shows voters across the nation overwhelmingly support America's farmers at a time when their future may very well rest in the hands of 535 elected representatives in the nation's capitol. The voters also want to reorient farm policy in a way that truly benefits all Americans by making conservation the basis for public support for farmers. The concept is simple: provide financial support to those farmers who are maintaining and improving stewardship of the land through both existing programs such as the farmland protection program; and a new "stewardship incentive" program that would provide income support. We are pleased to contribute solid research to this critical debate.
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