(ALL INTERNAL, LIMITED EXTERNAL RIGHTS) May 2012. To protect their family ranch, Bill Parker and his son, Tom, sold the land's development rights to the Conservancy in 2008. Parker Ranch--along with Tollhouse and Tejon Ranches--are part of the Tehachapi range, a 270,000-acre ecological cooridor now protected through the work of a consortium of landowners and conservation groups, including the Conservancy. Photo credit: © Ian Shive
Cowboys on Parker Ranch (ALL INTERNAL, LIMITED EXTERNAL RIGHTS) May 2012. To protect their family ranch, Bill Parker and his son, Tom, sold the land's development rights to the Conservancy in 2008. Parker Ranch--along with Tollhouse and Tejon Ranches--are part of the Tehachapi range, a 270,000-acre ecological cooridor now protected through the work of a consortium of landowners and conservation groups, including the Conservancy. Photo credit: © Ian Shive © Ian Shive

Food & Water Stories

Supporting the Farm Bill

Conservation Starts With Us

Dec. 12, 2018 Update: Congress Votes for Conservation with New Farm Bill 

The Farm Bill is critical to the conservation of private land in the United States. Its benefits span much further than any single program or resource concern. The bill gives farmers, ranchers and forest landowners the tools to protect and conserve their land and their way of life. It provides incentives for responsible land management that safeguards water supplies, forests and critical ecosystems.

Farmers and ranchers can use Farm Bill programs to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediments entering our waterways, thereby improving the country’s water quality and supply. These programs can also drive sustainable water management practices, especially needed in drought and flood-prone areas.

Farm Bill programs also increase the long-term protection of our forests and all of their benefits for threatened species, clean air and drinking water, and public health. This includes protection from wildfire, insects and diseases.

These conservation efforts are often targeted to significant and sensitive habitats. With the Farm Bill, we can achieve local and landscape-scale ecosystem benefits where they are needed most, like protecting the Mississippi River and ensuring habitat for the greater sage-grouse. This also includes preventing the conversion of native prairie or grassland into cropland.

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In addition to driving practices that capture soil carbon and other greenhouse gasses, Farm Bill programs are aiding farmers as they prepare for the impacts of climate change that can threaten their livelihoods.

Using science-driven, innovative field research has been crucial in propelling successful outcomes for these conservation efforts. Along with continuous monitoring, these science-based methods ensure that Farm Bill programs are effective and yielding the best results.

The Nature Conservancy is teaming up with farmers, ranchers, and partners across the country to promote these conservation values in the next Farm Bill, ensuring clean water, healthy lands, and thriving rural communities.