In recent years, U.S. Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) has championed a federal program that provides money “to help farmers fund efforts to protect the environment against such effects as soil erosion and animal waste,” according to the Tulsa World. The only problem with this popular program was that there was never enough money to go around. But this year, says Lucas, “I came up with a way to put enough resources into the program.”
So Uncle Sam will spend more than ever to keep farming soil healthy and keep animal waste runoff contained? You’d think the enviro-nannies would be thrilled. But you’d be wrong. Groups like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are grousing about the program’s new terms. Since more cash is available, large-scale farming operations will suddenly also be eligible for this government handout. EWG’s chief lobbyist told the Tulsa World that if the feds fail to shut out industrial farmers, the resulting program “would not really be a conservation plan.”
Steve Kouplen, the president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, dismissed these groups’ complaints about expanding the program beyond “family” farms. “We have to realize,” he said, “that agriculture is agriculture.