New Additions Funding Opportunities Projects Affiliated Centers Integrated Pest Management Research Publications

Strengthening and Expanding Conservation Practices on Farmland

Project Period:

18 months 2000-08-01 - 2002-02-01

Principal Investigator:

J. Dixon Esseks, NIU, Steve Kraft, SIU, Ann Sorensen, AFT and Brian Tringali, Tarrance Group, Alexandria, VA

This project seeks to strengthen and expand land conservation practices through 1) inclusion of a stewardship payment program in the next farm bill and 2) broadening support and understanding within Congress of the need to conserve our land resources

We completed a national public opinion poll of 1,024 registered voters between June 2 to June 21, 2001 and released the results at a national press conference in Washington, D.C. July 11, 2001. The survey found that Americans still feel a strong bond to the land. Nearly 85 percent of voter feel that farmers receiving federal aid should be required to apply conservation practices, or that those who did should receive more of the money. We made 1,189 additional calls between June 21 to July 26, 2001 to reach at least 300 people in each of seven regions and provide regional results to Congress. Most urban edge landowners we surveyed employ at least two conservation practices. Interest in participating in PDR programs ranged from 45 percent up to 67 percent. Results are available at A glossy brochure featuring the national public opinion poll has been widely distributed. Articles about the poll continue to be written and have reached over 8 million readers. We have also developed regional profiles of voters who support various programs and are sharing these profiles with our conservation partners (and AFT’s membership division) to target information to supporters.

American Farmland Trust