Bush proposes record $3.9 billion for conservation

January 30, 2003

There's going to be more money for conservation in agriculture.

That's the crux of the message Ag Secretary Ann Veneman left with farmers and ranchers at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday.

The FY2004 federal budget proposal will include a record $3.9 billion for environmental stewardship on the nation's farms and ranches.

That would be an increase of more than half a billion dollars from the current budget and about double the amount spent when the Bush administration arrived in Washington two years ago.

About $3.5 billion of the total will be used for financial assistance or other direct payments to farmers and ranchers, including $2 billion for the Conservation Reserve Program, $250 million for the wetlands reserve to enroll another 178,000 acres, and $850 for EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program).

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