Summary: H.R.4751 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4751. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/10/2018)

Healthy Fields and Farm Economies Act

This bill reauthorizes and modifies the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977, which provides the Department of Agriculture (USDA) with strategic assessment and planning authority for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of soil, water, and related natural resources.

The bill authorizes USDA to establish a conservation effects assessment project to:

  • quantify the environmental and economic effects of conservation practices,
  • develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality and sustainable productive capacity, and
  • improve the efficacy of conservation practices and programs by evaluating conservation effects.

USDA must establish a goals and assessment process for conservation programs that includes:

  • the identification of natural resource and environmental objectives, outcomes, and results for the programs;
  • assessments of the resulting changes in the status and conditions of natural resource and the environment; and
  • a monitoring and evaluation process for the programs and initiatives.

In implementing the monitoring and evaluation process, USDA must use certain funds provided for conservation programs and establish a National Technical Committee. USDA may enter into cooperative agreements with government agencies, universities and colleges, and nongovernmental organizations to assist in implementing the monitoring and evaluation process.

The bill also sets forth reporting requirements regarding the progress conservation programs have made in achieving the objectives and outcomes.