USDA - FPAC MERGER - TEXAS NRCS / SWCD's
US SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE - SONNY PERDUE
To: J.C. Mathiews, State Director, District #5
Texas Association of Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Texas National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) over the years have been given many changes; national budget cuts and employee cutbacks, mileage and vehicle restrictions, other. Over the decades of dedicated service, the NRCS and the Farm Services Administration (FSA) where created over 70 years ago, as two separate agencies. There was a very good reason Congress created the two agriculture agencies to perform their duties and very good reasons to make sure they stayed separate entities of one another as one controlled source of management.
FSA was to work the US farm side and aid growers of crop(s); management and aid to keep accurate surveys of our agriculture acreage product(s) and watch our year to year national gross products being grown to guard our national food supply. In the beginning it also helped strengthen crop prices.
The NRCS was to provide Technical Assistance and aid property landowners in each county in the United States, to help secure our nations water resources, manage erosion and sediment to our water supplies, provide better, sustainable watersheds, help maintain natural native grass and other improved planted grasses to keep our water supply clean and safe and sustainable. This also included building a number of lifesaving flood control dams in critical areas and oversee money to properly maintain those dam sites. It also served to help in our natural wildlife habitat and provided programs to sustain a balance in nature with controlled Tree canopy, adequate stock water, grazing land management and a host of other specialized programs.
NRCS in the last few decades have suffered numerous cutbacks, hiring freezes, and adequate office space to operate efficiently and field instruments and vehicles to properly oversee the programs it administers.
Under the new office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, it appears there is a broad national political agenda to completely destroy what the NRCS has done and done so well over the past 70 plus years. Taking “Title II” funds, and directing them under FSA “Title I” funds. By doing so this allows FSA to control entirely funds administered in a enormous field it lacks expertise and training. This is basically the tail wagging the dog. Under the new proposed “FPAC” program mandates vehicle and office sharing, but in unequal proportion; three times more to FSA than NRCS when NRCS is the one that needs the room space and vehicles in the field with its expertise in Technical Experience and Program oversight.
As a Texas County Director of the Texas Soil and Water Conservation District; as an individual property owner of farm and ranch land, and/or citizen who depends on clean, adequate water and water supplies, by use of watershed conservation and grass management, I / we:
Oppose any government mandate to:
* to merge the NRCS under or within the FSA agencies
* to allow FSA to control all the funds yet depend on NRCS to administer for only a small % of funds.
* to place any “Title II” funds under the control of FSA Agencies.
* to lessen vehicles needed in the NRCS agency or share with FSA agencies
* to further reduce office space that is badly needed by NRCS offices already stressed
* to further hiring freezes in the NRCS and staffing cuts
I attest that I am a US Citizen, a Texas Landowner, and/or, a Texas Voter, and I sign this petition to allow the Texas Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (TASWCD) make my voice heard in Washington D.C., presented to U.S. Congressional leaders and to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.
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