Conservation should be supported by a trust fund separate from the farm bill budget so that money could be devoted to support more programs. That's the contention of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, according to a Reuters report.
The senator told reporters this week that setting up a trust fund for conservation purposes "might accomplish some of the same goals we would in the farm bill," he says. Grassley says he has talked with Max Baucus, D-Mont., chair of the Senate Finance committee about raising money for conservation in a way that it would stay within jurisdiction of that committee.
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chair of the Senate Ag committee has been vocal about expanding land stewardship and public nutrition programs in the new farm bill, and supporting more biofuel production. However, Grassley is concerned with the House version of the farm bill that he says raises a lot of money "just to hand it to the agriculture committee."
The Senate continues working on its version of the farm bill with speculation that it will come up for debate later this fall. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30, but can easily be extended as lawmakers deliberate the 2007 measure.