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Noem Cheers Farm Bill That Guts Conservation Stewardship and Boosts CAFO Subsidies

Congresswoman Kristi Noem puts on her Carhartts to visit her neighbor Eric and recite some platitudes about farming:

She says the new Farm Bill is really good and chock full of ideas she came up with. Hmm… so did she come up with getting rid of the Conservation Stewardship Program?

The draft farm bill presented by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) eliminates the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program and the only farm bill conservation program focused on advanced conservation systems to foster a more sustainable agriculture.

In an attempt to make this elimination of CSP appear palatable to the farmers and ranchers who depend on this program, the Chairman has attempted to frame the decimation as simply folding CSP into the Environmental Quality Incentives program (EQIP).

…The bill proposes to cut working lands programs by nearly $5 billion*. CSP and EQIP are the two largest working lands conservation programs. The bill eliminates CSP, “folds it into EQIP,” and proposes to gradually increase funding for EQIP from $2 million to $3 million by 2023. As illustrated in score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this modification would cut funding working lands by nearly $5 billion ($4.925 to be exact) over 10 years. It is hard to see how a bill that cuts working lands conservation by such a massive amount is in any way shape or form prioritizing working land. By way of contrast, the 2014 Farm Bill cut the entire conservation title by $4 billion over 10 years [National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, “Get the Facts—H.R. 2 Eliminates Nation’s Largest Conservation Program,”, April 2018].

Noem also doesn’t mention what appears to be a G. Mark Mickelson idea, diverting remaining funding from real conservation efforts to CAFO sewage ponds:

CSP offers supplemental payments for resource-conserving crop rotations and a consideration of environmental benefits when determining contract payments, but these features are nonexistent in the “stewardship contracts proposal.” The House bill also eliminates the key opportunities to incentive and properly reward farmers for their advanced conservation efforts and their work to actively manage and improve conservation on their farm. It takes a further step backward by allowing funding to go to the construction of manure lagoons and sprayfields for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), activities that are explicitly prohibited for funding within CSP right now. This could siphon off much of the funding for stewardship contracts to activities with low or even negative environmental outcomes [NSAC, April 2018].

Our only comfort this morning is that this Farm Bill is going nowhere, thanks in part to Noem’s bad idea about jerking SNAP recipients around:

…The bill is virtually dead on arrival. Ferd Hoefner, senior strategic adviser for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and a longtime farm bill observer, says the ag commitee’s version will likely never pass the House. Moderate Republicans oppose the SNAP changes and hard-right Republicans oppose essentially all anti-hunger and farm spending.

Even if Republicans do pass the bill through the House, he adds, their SNAP agenda will run into a brick wall in the Senate, where the GOP leadership has vowed to maintain the status quo. And according to Hoefner, the Senate agriculture leadership, Republican and Democratic alike, have shown no appetite for slashing conservation funds [Tom Philpott, “The GOP House’s Farm Bill Would Gut a Key Conservation Program,” Mother Jones, 2018.04.19].

Looks like Kristi will have to get her Carhartts dirty working on a better Farm Bill.


  1. Rorschach 2018-04-20

    “Farmers can survive bad floods, bad hail storms, bad weather and bad federal policy.” She’s out to prove that.

    I’m trying to figure out what hat she’s wearing. She has a retro Miller Beer hat in her cowgirl picture. Is this one Pabst Blue Ribbon? If so, she’s really pandering. What’s next, Budweiser?

  2. The King 2018-04-20

    Her handlers should have wiped some cow dung on the Carhartts after they took them out of the package, would have made this look a just little less contrived.

    If the Farm Bill was of such importance to her why did she get off the Agriculture Committee?

  3. owen reitzel 2018-04-20

    My question. Will farmers have to be drug tested to get their government subsidies?

  4. Nick Nemec 2018-04-20

    You have to pay good money for a retro beer cap. Real farmers wear a free one from the co-op or seed corn dealer.

  5. steve novotny 2018-04-20

    I see cockroach cory is […CAH We stop this comment here, because the commenter makes no effort to contribute to the understanding of the topic and instead offers nothing but childish name-calling. I would think a professed agriculturalist like Mr. Novotny would have more to say about the Farm Bill, crop subsidies, and particularly government financial support for the confined animal feeding operations that may be competing with his own livestock operation. I invite any such professional experience and observations that livestock producers wish to offer on this topic.]

  6. Jason 2018-04-20


    Why didn’t you mention that there is less people on Snap under Trump than there was under Obama?

    Why don’t you do some research and compare the US farm subsidy programs vs China’s farm subsidy programs?

  7. Jason 2018-04-20

    They should Owen.

  8. Jenny 2018-04-20

    Pubs just always get their panties in a bunch when there are low wage workers on food stamps. With the price of food these days and that mean food tax in SD, it is not surprising there are people on SNAP.
    Pay your workers better and they will not bother signing up for it.

  9. Jason 2018-04-20


    Want to bet your house that there are people on food stamps who are lazy and don’t want to work?

  10. Jenny 2018-04-20

    I’m sure there are, Jason. Just like there are wealthy farmers that take farm welfare that don’t need it.

  11. Jenny 2018-04-20

    If I made as much as the top wealthy farmers that take the most welfare, I would feel rather guilty for taking any . But gosh, it’s theirs for the taking! So better grab it, don’t dare let a struggling farmer get any.

  12. Jason 2018-04-20


    Have you looked into the China farm subsidies versus the US Farm subsidies? If not, you probably should before commenting on farm subsidies.

    The difference is that the farmers are actually working and producing something while the lazy person is not.

  13. Jenny 2018-04-20

    Jason, we’re not talking about China. I know you are worried about China’s farm welfare system, but you need to stay on topic. Cory didn’t mention China, and why are you so obsessed with China’s program? Does it make ours not look so bad?
    We need to work on how to make ours better.

  14. Jenny 2018-04-20

    And Jason, if you’re that worried about how easy it is to get on food stamps, why don’t you try applying. It makes me wonder if it’s true like the pubs say. I think I might try an experiment and apply here in MN.

  15. Jason 2018-04-20


    Where did I say anything about getting on food stamps? I did say less people are on it now than under Obama. Thanks Trump.

  16. Jason 2018-04-20

    Taking a drug test does not make it harder for you to get food stamps unless you are on drugs.

  17. Jenny 2018-04-20

    I’ve paid my dues, I’m going to go right down to my county office and apply for SNAP, If Jason and the Pubs say it’s so easy to do. I could sure use some food discounts. How does it work, Jason? Do you really get all this free food! How awesome!

  18. Jason 2018-04-20

    What dues did you pay Jenny?

    I have no problem with people that “need” food stamps. I do have a problem with lazy people that don’t and people on drugs getting food stamps.

    Why do you feel drug users should get taxpayer money Jenny?

  19. Jenny 2018-04-20

    I was always under the consideration that SD is full of all these hard working wonderful people, so now you’re saying that SD is full of lazy drug addicted people that don’t want to work? What?
    I thought SD always brags that they’re full of hardworking pull yourself up by your bootstraps people. Which one is it?

  20. Jason 2018-04-20


    Where did I say SD is full of lazy people?

    Why didn’t you answer my drug question?

  21. jerry 2018-04-20

    To get $16.00 worth of SNAP, you pee in a cup that costs $27.00 Only a republican would think this is profitable and makes sense. Jason is all in this line of thinking. Jason needs to keep following the advise of one Larry Kudlow for his retirement funding.

  22. Jason 2018-04-20


    Why didn’t you use the $86 figure?

    Can you link me to where you got the cup cost?

  23. Jenny 2018-04-20

    You don’t understand drug addiction, do you Jason?
    I used to think that it would be okay to drug test the poor. It’s just another mean GOP tactic that would hurt more than help, and like jerry says above, end up being costing more.

  24. Jason 2018-04-20


    If you want to use your money to feed drug users that is your choice. The taxpayers should not be forced to though.

  25. Jenny 2018-04-20

    Oh yes, jerry. That’s about the cost of an overpriced urinalysis in our atrociously expensive US healthcare system.

  26. Jason 2018-04-20

    86X12= $1,032 – 27(assumption) = $1,005.

    Drug testing once a year is not burdensome.

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-04-20

    So how do folks feel about a Farm Bill that diverts conservation money to CAFOs, which seem to be a farming operation that works against conservation?

  28. mike from iowa 2018-04-20

    How many korporate welfare drug users will be tested for drugs? Tests will cost millions for them when their lawyers get through suing the fed.

  29. mike from iowa 2018-04-20

    Drug Tests Often Trigger False Positives – WebMD › Drugs & Medications › News
    May 28, 2010 – Drug tests generally produce false-positive results in 5% to 10% of cases and false negatives in 10% to 15% of cases, new research shows.

  30. Jason 2018-04-20


    I must have read or heard that before the hurricanes.

    But then in August, Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding in Texas, and soon after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Florida Keys. Meanwhile wildfires raged in eight Western states. Food stamps were part of the federal government’s disaster relief efforts. Between August and October, nearly 4.6 million people were added to the SNAP rolls, leaving a net gain of just under 3 million under Trump so far.

  31. Jason 2018-04-20


    Most of the farmers are already practicing conservation. (no-till). The csp is just free money. Farmers are still going to practice no-till because it generally makes more money.

  32. Jason 2018-04-20


    Sorry, I forgot to copy and paste this part:

    That decline in food stamp recipients continued and accelerated during the first seven months of Trump’s administration — going down by more than 1.6 million between January and August, nearly double the rate of Obama’s last seven months, when 860,000 went off the SNAP rolls.

  33. jerry 2018-04-20

    So, who is really running the show for the so called “ag committee’s” that are drawing this farce of a theft bill up?

    “For nearly 30 years, Ken Isley served in the legal department of Dow Agrosciences, the pesticide division of chemical giant Dow. Most recently, he held the positions of vice president, general counsel, and secretary at the company, and on Thursday, the Trump administration tapped Isley to head the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

    Dow Agrosciences’ former top lawyer will run an agency that “links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security,” according to the FAS website. It maintains a “global network of 93 offices covering 171 countries” staffed by “agricultural attachés and locally hired agricultural experts who are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world.””

    You got it, the pesticide boys are running the show at the Department of corruption…er Agriculture now.

  34. jerry 2018-04-20

    Most excellent link Mr. reitzel! Thanks for posting that

  35. Debbo 2018-04-20

    “Her handlers should have wiped some cow dung on the Carhartts after they took them out of the package, would have made this look a just little less contrived.”

    That was exactly my thought King. I never wore such neat a tidy coveralls to do chores except the first day out of the plastic. They didn’t look that nice by the time i got back to the house. Feed calves in the winter and they’re guaranteed to wipe their snotty noses on you first thing. Then there’s feed, scheit, snags from nails sticking out when you climb the fence, etc. Noem is playing at farmer.

  36. Jason 2018-04-20


    Do you vote for a candidate based on their looks and what clothing they wear?

    I will bet that Obama has never worn a Carhartt product.

    Let’s get back to the topic on hand.

    Farmers are getting paid for practices they are already doing.

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