Writings & Research

Don’s research and writing has been aimed at finding realistic and effective ways to improve agriculture’s environmental performance without driving farms out of business and farmland into development and to improve salmon habitat in a way that respects the needs of natural resource businesses like farming and commercial fisheries .  The materials provided below are presented in two groups:

a) Materials that were either authored by Don Stuart or had his significant involvement in their development and publication, and

b)  An extensive research bibliography of mostly on-line resources relating to various issues faced in agriculture that relate, in one way or another, to the environment.

These materials are provided here as a service, to enhance public access to practical information about farming and the environment.  For additional information on these issues, the researcher may wish to view the website of American Farmland Trust which has a wealth of materials on these topics.

Note that the materials below are available as PDF files, unless otherwise indicated.

Environmental markets for agriculture:

Farms and ranches generate environmental services that are of great value to the rest of society. Using well-known “best management practices,” farmers and ranchers can greatly enhance those services. Environmental markets can pay for providing them, producing supplemental revenue to help support the working farm or ranch business.

The following materials describe environmental markets, show how they can work for agriculture, and address some of the issues they create:

Conservation incentives in agriculture:

If we are to protect and retain our working farm businesses, we will need strong, effective, and strategic conservation incentive programs. If these programs are to be seen as a viable alternative to regulation, they need to be credible with the public that must pay for them. And they need to be fair, both for taxpayers and for the farmers and ranchers we hope will use them.

The following materials discuss some of the issues with environmental incentive programs and explains how we can make them stronger:

Preserving farmland and the environment:

The loss of farmland to development and its fragmentation into small parcels that are uneconomic for agriculture and end up being put to non-farm uses is almost always a net loss for the environment.

The following materials explain the issues with farmland loss and show how communities can address them while dealing fairly with both their landowners and the rest of their citizens:

Economic viability for agriculture:

Farms are in business. It is when those businesses fail, or when they must sell, that we lose our treasured working farmland. So a necessary part of preserving agriculture and preventing the environmentally damaging development of farmland and ranchland is assuring the economic viability of those farm and ranch businesses.

The following materials deal with economic viability in agriculture and shows how communities can help farmers stay in business and on the land:

More research, resources, and links

In addition to the above materials, what follows is a topical subject-matter bibliography of useful and interesting research links on key issues relating to agriculture and the environment.

CONTENTS:

Farmland
Economics
Demographics
General Environmental Impacts
Food
Laws and Regulations
Livestock
Farm Bill
Incentives
Integrated Pest Management & Pesticides
The Law
Political Positions
Clean Water Act & Wetlands
Climate Change
Taxes & Spending
Environmental Markets
Washington State and Puget Sound
_________________________________________

Farmland

  • U.S. land base in agriculture:  52% according to the Resources and Environment Report Summary (May 2006, USDA/Economic Research Service) retrieved here.  There were 922,095,840 acres in agriculture held by 2,204,792 farms reported in the USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007 – U.S. National Data, Table 1, Historical Highlights. Retrieved here.  This acreage probably represents more like 75% of the nation’s private lands.  Also, keep in mind that Census of Agriculture data on land in agriculture does not include a substantial portion of the 258 million acres of public lands grazed by livestock producers under lease and permit with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.  See the definition for “land in farms” in the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Appendix B at B-14.  Retrieved here.
  • Value of land as percentage of total U.S. farm business assets:  According to the U.S. Farm Bureau Federation backgrounder on capital gains taxes, the value of a farmer’s land and structures represents, on average, 76% of the farm businesses’ assets.  Retrieved here.
  • U.S. Farm gross income per acre in production:  In 2007, average annual per-acre dollar production by U.S. farmland was: $322.   There was $297,220,491,000 in U.S. farm gate sales value in 2007.  See 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, Tables 2 and 8, retrieved here.  That same year, there were 922,095,840 acres in agriculture held by 2,204,792 farms reported in the USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007 – U.S. National Data, Table 1, Historical Highlights. Retrieved here.
  • Average size of U.S. farms:  In 2007, the overall average farm size in the U.S. was 418 acres.  See USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture – Table 8, Land on line here.  There were 922,095,840 acres in agriculture held by 2,204,792 farms reported in the USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007 – U.S. National Data, Table 1, Historical Highlights. Retrieved here.  There are about 2.2 million farm businesses.  USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007 – U.S. National Data, Table 1, Historical Highlights. Retrieved here.
  • Absentee ownership of U.S. farms:  In 1999 the U.S. had 3.8 million farmland owners, 42% of which were non-farm landlord owners.  See “Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators – Land Ownership and Farm Structure,” USDA Economic Research Service, 2006 edition, retrieved here
  • Farmland vulnerability to development:  One measure is to compare land base with land in current use tax programs.  E.g. see: Washington State Department of Revenue current use property tax statistics: “Table 19: 2010 Valuation of Current Use Land by County Agricultural Timber, & Open Space Lands Approved for Current Use Assessment.  Retrieved here.  Compare this data with Census of Agriculture data on land in agriculture,
  • Cost of maintenance for publicly owned lands:  “The Burgeoning Backlog: A Report on the Maintenance Backlog in America’s National Parks,” National Parks Conservation Association, May 2004.  Retrieved here.
  • Reasons to preserve farmland:  See: “Fact Sheet: Why Save Farmland,” American Farmland Trust, Farmland Information Center, retrieved here.
  • Impacts of sprawl on urban and suburban life:  See the comments and materials at The Free Library: “Doughnut Cities: Everybody connected with urban planning has known for decades that allowing suburbs to spread is not a good idea, yet suburban growth continues,” 2004.  Retrieved here.
  • U.S. Farmer satisfaction with purchase of development rights programs:  “From the Field: What Farmers Have To Say about Vermont’s Farmland Conservation Program,” retrieved at: here.
  • Farmland in organic production:  About one half of one percent of the total U.S. farmland base is in organic production.  See USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), Data Sets, Organic Production.  Retrieved here.
  • Cost to restore developed land to agriculture:  It was estimated that restoring a residential development to agriculture would run $1.17 million per acre or $50 million for a full 50 acres parcel.  “The Suitability, Viability, Needs, and Economic Future of Pierce County Agriculture: Phase I Report Responding to Questions Posed by Pierce County Council Resolution R2004-105s (American Farmland Trust, 2004) retrieved here.
  • Organic land base:  About ½ of 1% of the U.S. farmland is in organic production: USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), Data Sets, Organic Production.  Retrieved here.
  • Cost of growth and sprawl subsidies:  See “The Cost of Growth in Washington State,” Fodor & Associates, October 2000, done for the Columbia Public Interest Policy Institute.  Retrieved here.   Keep in mind that this study represented an average for all new single family residences – thus averaging in new residences in the heart of the city where community service costs are quite low with new residences being built on large, sprawling developments in the suburban countryside where the land being developed might often have been working farms or forests.
  • Rural conservative view of growth management:  See, e.g., the discussion of growth management laws by the Citizens Alliance of Property Rights: “Policy 9: Promote Intellectually Honest Public Discussion of Growth Management Policy, Environmental Regulation, and Property Rights.”  Retrieved here.
  • Growth Management protections for agricultural lands:  See: “Fact Sheet: Growth Management Laws,” American Farmland Trust, Retrieved here.  See also “Statewide Planning and Growth Management in the United States,” Document 113 (State of New Jersey report, August 1997) retrieved here.
  • Growth management of purchase of development rights programs:  See: “Achieving Sensible Agricultural Zoning to Protect PDR Investments,” Deborah Bowers, presentation September 6, 2001 retrieved here.
  • Absence of growth management/zoning protections for agriculture:  Only 13 of 50 states have statewide growth management.  Only 7 deal specifically with farmland. And 9 provide just a statewide framework.  This leaves considerable discretion in local counties to decide how or if agriculture is to be protected.  See: “Fact Sheet: Growth Management Laws,” American Farmland Trust, retrieved here.  See also “Statewide Planning and Growth Management in the United States,” Document 113 (State of New Jersey report, August 1997) retrieved here.  All states authorize their local governments to manage growth, the remaining 37 states leave local counties, to decide if they will protect agriculture.  Cities, of course, have zoning.  But this does not protect rural agriculture.  Only about ½ the states have localities that have made an attempt to zone for agriculture.  See: “Achieving Sensible Agricultural Zoning to Protect PDR Investments,” Deborah Bowers, presentation September 6, 2001 retrieved here.
  • Average Farm Size in U.S.:  Currently at 418 acres: Calculated from Table 8 – Land, 2007 Census of Agriculture, retrieved here.
  • Range for parcel sizes currently protected by typical zoning:  The range varies from 5 and 10 acre minimums (e.g. in Washington State) to communities that have reported to have some areas with 640 acre minimums (as of 2005, Fresno County appears to have had 640 acre parcel size minimums. See memo retrieved here.  Oregon, which is reputed to have the most rigorous agricultural zoning in the country, has a statewide minimum parcel size of 80 acres. (See the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development website here.)  It appears that the typical range across the country for minimum parcel sizes, however, is more in the range of 20 to 40 acres.
  • Zoning requirements that parcel be in agriculture:  Oregon (again, a national leader in this arena) requires that at least $80,000 gross farm income be earned in 2 of the past three years.  See “Questions and Answers about Oregon’s Land Use Program: The Farm Income Standard,” 1000 Friends of Oregon.  Retrieved here.
  • Impact of large lot zoning on market value of land.  May have little effect at times: “Downzoning: Does it Protect Working Landscapes and Maintain Equity for the Landowner?” (Report to the Maryland Center for Agro-Ecology, December 2003).  Retrieved here.
  • Farm industry opposition to growth management:  In 2006, the Washington State Farm Bureau led and publicly sponsored the property rights initiative.  The text of Initiative  933 can be retrieved here.  Conversely, the Oregon Farm Bureau, actively supports that State’s very rigorous Statewide Growth Management Law.  Take a look, for example, at the OFB’s State Legislative Priorities, on line here.
  • Purchase of development rights programs around the U.S.:  See four reports which analyze some 46 of the PDR programs around the country: “A National View of Agricultural Easement Programs,” A. Sokolow, U.C. Davis, (American Farmland Trust, 9/1/03 to 12/5/06).  Linked here.
  • Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program:  See FRPP description here.
  • Transfer of development rights:  See: Fact Sheet: Transfer of Development Rights,” American Farmland Trust Farmland Information Center.  Retrieved here.
  • Leveraging landowner “bargain sales” in PDR programs:  The State of Delaware, averages over 50% savings through discounted easements.  For information, contact:  Delaware Department of Agriculture, Farmland Preservation Program, 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901.  The program is described on line here and is in the Delaware Code here.
  • Effect of land cost stability on sustainable farm management:  See: “Sustaining the Land for Sustainable Agriculture,” D. Stuart, American Farmland Magazine  (American Farmland Trust, Winter 2004, pg. 10), retrieved here.

Economics

  • U.S. farm businesses owners as a percentage of U.S. population:  There are about 2.2 million farm businesses.  USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007 – U.S. National Data, Table 1, Historical Highlights. Retrieved here.  Total U.S. population in 2010 was 308,745,538: (2010 Census Data, U.S. Census Bureau) retrieved here.  If each farm had a single owner, this would represent only about 0.7% of the population.  Given that some farms are owned by very large corporations, this would spread ownerships much wider.
  • U.S. agriculture farm-gate sales:  According to the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, total annual market value of agricultural products sold is over $297 billion.  See: Resources and Environment Report Summary (May 2006, USDA/Economic Research Service) retrieved here.
  • Large scale farming – relative value of production:  As of 2010, large-scale family farms and nonfamily farms account for 12 percent of U.S farms but 84 percent of the value of production.  “Structure & Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2010 Edition,” USDA Economic Research Service, retrieved here.  See “Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators – Land Ownership and Farm Structure,” USDA Economic Research Service, 2006 edition, retrieved here.
  • Industrialization of organic agriculture:  See: “Behind the Organic-Industrial Complex,” M. Pollan, NY. Times, May 13, 2001 and Mindfully.org.  Retrieved here.  Also see: “The Hijacking of Organic Agriculture . . . and How USDA is Facilitating the Theft,” Organic Consumers Association.  Retrieved here.
  • Major non-livestock crop production in the U.S.:  In an average year, our farmers plant about:  o  86 million acres of corn, USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, Farm Numbers, Demographics, Economics, retrieved here.  o  64 million acres of soybeans, USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, Farm Numbers, Demographics, Economics, retrieved here.  o  51 million acres of wheat. USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, Farm Numbers, Demographics, Economics, retrieved here.  o  7 million acres in sorghum, USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, Farm Numbers, Demographics, Economics, retrieved here.  o  5 million acres in fruits, nuts, and berries.  2007 USDA Census of Agriculture Fact Sheet – Fruit, Berries and Tree Nuts – retrieved here.  o  4 million acres in vegetables, potatoes, and melons, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Report on Specialty Crops, November 2009, Table 3.  Retrieved here.  o  900,000 acres in grapes. “General Information about the U.S. Wine Industry,”  Winegrape Growers of America, (statistic is for 2008).  Retrieved here.  o  700,000 acres in nursery stock, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Report on Specialty Crops, November 2009, Table 3.  Retrieved here.  o  600,000 acres in cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops. 2007 Census of Agriculture, Report on Specialty Crops, November 2009, Table 3.  Retrieved here.  o  5 million acres in organic (about 0.5% of the total) as of 2008 were in all types of organic production.  See USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), Data Sets, Organic Production.  Retrieved here.
  • Size of U.S. organic market:  As of 2008, it has been estimated that organic agriculture had captured about 3% of total U.S. food sales.  See USDA Economic Research Service, “Briefing Room: Organic Market Overview.  Retrieved here.
  • Potential business vulnerability of U.S. agriculture: See “American Boondoggle: Fixing the 2012 Farm Bill,” B. Goodwin, V. Smith, D. Summer, American Enterprise Institute.  Retrieved here.  Also see: “Want to Make More than a Banker?  Become a Farmer!” Time Magazine, S. Gandel, July 10, 2011.  Retrievedhere.   See, e.g. “Overregulation Remains a Top Issue for Agriculture,” Western Farm Press, April 15, 2011. Retrieved here.

Demographics

  • U.S. Farmer wealth:  See “Want to Make More Than a Banker?  Become a Farmer!”  Stephen Gandel, Time Magazine, July 11, 2011, pg. 38.  The 2011 USDA – ERS projection was for total national net farm income to reach a record high of: $94.7 billion.  With 2.2 million farms in the U.S., this indicates an average net annual farm income of about $43,000 per farm.  For intermediate and commercial farms, including non-family farms, the average projected net income was: $80,400 for 2011.  See USDA/ERS projections for 2011 retrieved here. Keep in mind that this was also in a record year.  70% of American Farms have gross sales of under $250,000.  See: “Structure and Finances of U.S. Family Farms: 2005 Family Farm Report,” USDA ERS.  Retrieved here.  In particular, see chapter on “U.S. Farms: Numbers, Size, & Ownership” retrieved here.
  • Predominance of “family farms” in U.S. agriculture:  According to: “Structure and Finances of U.S. Family Farms: 2005 Family Farm Report,” USDA ERS.  Retrieved here:  “Ninety-eight percent of U.S. farms are family farms. The remaining 2 percent are nonfamily farms, which produce 14 percent of total agricultural output (fig. 3). Two features of family farms stand out.  First, small family farms make up 91 percent of all U.S. farms. Second, large-scale family farms account for 59 percent of all production.”  In particular, see chapter on “U.S. Farms: Numbers, Size, & Ownership” retrieved here.
  • Average age of U.S. farm owners:  See USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture, “Farmers by Age.” retrieved here.   See also tables 49 and 63.
  • Agricultural economic multiplier effect:  See “Agricultural Trade Multipliers,” USDA Economic Research Service, retrieved here.  Also see: “Using Multipliers to Measure Economic Impacts,” California Economic Strategy Panel, 2002, retrieved here.
  • U.S. population: As of this writing (mid-2011) the nation’s population is estimated to be approaching 312 million.  The U.S. population was about 132 million in 1940 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  See table: “Historical national population estimates.” Retrieved here.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population is expected to grow to between 423 million and 458 million by 2050.  See “U.S. Population Projections 2000-2050, Ortman & Guarneri.  Retrieved here
  • Reducing farmer percentage of U.S. population.  From 41% in 1900 to under 2% today.  See: “The 20th Century Transformation of U.S. Agriculture and Farm Policy,” USDA Economic Research Service.  Retrieved here.

General Environmental Impacts

  • Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone:  See: “The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone,” Microbial Life: Educational Resources, retrieved here.  “The Gulf’s Growing Dead Zone,” Time U.S., B. Walsh, June 17, 2008.  Retrieved here.  “The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone,” M. Bruckner, Montana State University, Microbial Life, educational resources, on line here.
  • Chesapeake Bay pollution:  See “Facing Facts in the Chesapeake Bay,” M. Perez, September 2009, Environmental Working Group.  Retrieved here.
  • Environmental impacts of industrial agriculture:  See: “Hidden Costs of Industrial Agriculture,” Union of Concerned Scientists, 8/24/08, retrieved here.  Also see the substantial body of popular non-fiction that has been published recently, including: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Michael Pollan, Penguin, 2007; What Matters?: Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth, Wendell Berry, Counterpoint, 2010; Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It, edited by Karl Weber, PublicAffairs, 2009.
  • Irrigation water use in the U.S.:  16 percent of all harvested cropland in the U.S. is irrigated.  But this produces almost half the value of all crops sold.   Agriculture uses more than 80 percent of water consumed in the U.S.  “Irrigation and Water Use,” USDA Economic Research Service Briefing Room, on line here.   Of ALL U.S. farmland, of all kinds, only about 6% is irrigated.  See USDA Census of Agriculture – 2008 Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, retrieved here.
  • Pesticide impacts on Salmon:  See: “Wild Salmon Endangered by Pesticides,” Vital Choice: Wild seafood and Organics, C. Weatherby, August 19, 2008. Retrieved here.  See also: Washington Toxics Coalition v. E.P.A., 413 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2005) noted here.
  • Agriculture impacts on wetlands:  See: “WR-2 Agriculture’s Impacts on Wetlands and Riparian Areas,” A Farmer’s Guide to Agriculture and Water Quality Issues: Fact Sheets, January 2004.  Retrieved here.
  • Human Health issues: See: “U.S. Vulnerable to E. Coli Outbreak Like the One in Europe,” R. Knox, (NPR, Shots, June 7, 2011).  Retrieved here.
  • Peak oil: “Peak Oil – Info & Strategies,” on line here.
  • Non-point pollution impacts of urbanization:  The pollution impacts of urbanization on salmon in Puget Sound, for example, include: copper from brake pads; PCBs still found in transformers, plastics, insulations, adhesives, paint; PBDEs from flame retardants in sofa cushions, computers, wire insulation and drapes; petroleum dripping from motor vehicles; and, a host of other sources. “Pollution lower, risks remain for marine life,” (Seattle Times, Sunday May 29, 2011, pg. 1) on line here.
  • Direct relationship between population and environmental degradation: Robert Lackey, a Fisheries Biologist with Oregon State University and the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory has found a direct connection between declines in salmon runs and growth in human populations.  Some of his research is described here.

Food

  • U.S. international trade surplus or deficit in food:  The U.S. seems to be moving in the direction of greater dependence on foreign food supplies.  See: “Increasing Imports of Food Creating Trade Problems for U.S. Economy,” Wall Street Journal, 11/8/04.  Retrieved here.  Note that these figures are in dollar value not volume or calories.  “Food imports may force new food policies,” Ken Meter (Grist, 2/10/2008) retrieved here.   In recent years the U.S. has moved between being a net importer and a net exporter of food.  See: “U.S. to Become Net Food Importer,” D. Pibel, Yes Magazine, May 5, 2005.  Retrieved here.
  • Food Miles: Average total distance traveled by food in the U.S. has various estimates, from: 6,760 km (4,200 miles). The production of food, however, has the much larger total climate impact.  See: “Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States,” C. Weber & H. S. Matthews, Environmental Science and Technology, (Carnegie Mellon University, 3/14/2008) retrieved here.  But some estimates are lower: “Food Miles: Background and Marketing”  ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, 2008 retrieved here. 1,500 miles according to: “How does eating locally grown food help the environment?” retrieved here.
  • Local Food: “Local Food Movement: The Lure of the 100-Mile Diet,” Time Magazine – Health, June 11, 2006.  Retrieved here.
  • Comparative volume of direct local sales:  There are $1.2 billion in direct sales vs. $297 billion in total market value of agricultural products sold.  USDA Census of Agriculture 2007, Table 1 retrieved here.
  • Organic food sales as percentage of market:  About 3% of total U.S. food sales.  See USDA Economic Research Service, “Briefing Room: Organic Market Overview.  Retrieved here.
  • Direct farm products market volume:  Direct sales farm products are about 0.4% of total farm gate sales.  There are $1.2 billion in direct sales vs. $297 billion in total market value of agricultural products sold.  USDA Census of Agriculture 2007, Table 1 retrieved here.
  • Increase in farmers markets:  The total number of farmers markets in the U.S. grew steadily from 1,755 in 1994 to 6,132 in 2010, with a 16% increase just between 2009 and 2010.  See table: “Number of Operating Farmers Markets” 1994-2010, USDA agricultural marketing service. Retrieved here.
  • Increase in direct farm to market sales:     Direct market have been rising more quickly than overall farm sales.  See generally: “The increasing role of direct marketing and farmers markets for Western U.S. producers,” Thilmany & Watson (Western Economics Forum, April 2004) p. 19.  Retrieved here.  The number of farmers engaged in direct marketing increased by 17% between 2002 and 2007.  About 6% of U.S. farms are now selling at least some of their crop direct to the public.  See: 2007 Census of Agriculture, “Table 2: Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold.” Retrieved here and here.
  • Puget Sound area potential for direct market farm sales:  If the percentage of the total food budget spent by residents in the Puget Sound area of Washington State on food grown in the 12 counties that surround Puget Sound were to increase from the current estimate of under 1% (an estimate used by local direct food advocates) up to 5%, that 4% change would more than double gross farm sales in the area and would have a considerably larger impact on net profit.  Such a change, especially if tempered by green demand, could have a dramatic positive effect on the local agriculture industry and on its environmental performance.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau (see table for WA counties here), the 12 Puget Sound Counties had a total 2009  population of 4,475,300.  Average spending on food, per person in the U.S. is $6,372 annually.  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures 2009 retrieved here.  The resulting annual Puget Sound area food budget is $28,516,611,600.  4% of this is: $1,140,664,464.  According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, total market value of crops sold grown in these 12 counties was $1,118,238,000.  See the county profiles for Washington linked here.
  • San Francisco Foodshed Study:  See: “Think Globally – Eat Locally: San Francisco Foodshed Assessment,” E. Thompson, A.M. Harper, S. Kraus (American Farmland Trust, 2008).  Retrieved here.  100-mile diet for San Francisco.
  • Local food groups active in Farm Bill:  Just a few of the many food movement groups across the country that are becoming active in U.S. farm policy include:  o Brooklyn Food Coalition: see here; o Community Food Security Coalition (national): see here; o California Food & Justice Coalition: see here;  o Indianapolis Food, Farm, & Family Coalition: see here;  o Food Systems Network NYC: see here;  o Northwest Farm Bill Action Group: see here.
  • Environmental benefits of eating local: See: “How does eating locally grown food help the environment?” retrieved here.
  • Farm product environmental certification programs: o Salmon Safe here.  o Fish Friendly Farming here.  o Food Alliance  here.  o Local Harvest at: http://www.localharvest.org/.   o Food Alliance at: http://foodalliance.org/client-search.  o Certified Humane here. The Washington Salmon Safe Program is ably administered by Stewardship Partners  here.
  • Packaged food:  Represents 57% of U.S. food marketplace.  See the chart published in “Factory Food” by H. Fairfield (New York Times, April 10, 2010) retrieved here.
  • NORPAC:  NORPAC Farmers are using integrated pest management to reduce use of pesticides.  See the NORPAC website here.
  • SYSCO:  SYSCO asked its food suppliers for reductions in their use of pesticides.  See the SYSCO website here.
  • Tillamook Cheese:  Tillamook ruled that its dairy farmers no longer use the growth hormone rGBH.  See the Tillamook website here.
  • PCC Natural Markets campaign aganst rGBH:  See the article on this matter written by Goldie Caughlin of PCC Natural Markets “Tillamook Bans rGBH,” April 2005, on line here.
  • Leveraging food processing & supply industry environmental standards:  See the written materials and video talk by Jason Clay: “How Big Brands Can Help Save Biodiversity,” World Wildlife Fund, July 2010, retrieved here.
  • Strict products liability:  This has been U.S. law since MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050 (1916).
  • Lack of Farm Bureau policy initiatives on behalf of direct market agriculture:  See the 2011 American Farm Bureau Federation Policy Book (retrieved here  See the current USFBF Background papers here.
  • Environmental certification or identification policies of Farm Bureau:  AFBF opposes policies that would allow tracing of the origins of livestock, allow market discrimination based on biotechnology content, imply that organic foods are “in any way” superior to other farm products, identify animal waste as hazardous, or identify farm “production practices” that do not “affect… nutrition or food safety. ”See, for example, the 2011 AFBF Policy Book (retrieved here) and, specifically pp. 75, 78, 82, 94, 102, and 160.
  • Other food industry responses to certification, and their success:  See the Dolphin Safe Tuna label website here.
  • State and Federal freedom of information acts:  See the materials on states around the country collected at the University of Florida Citizen Access Project where links are provided to federal and state laws across the country.  Retrieved here.   The Federal law is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), adopted in 1996 (Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 383; Amended 1996, 2002, 2007).

Laws and Regulations

  • Farmer exemptions from U.S. regulatory laws:  Some examples of agriculture exemptions include:  o Clean Water Act section 402(l)(1) (33 U.S.C. 1342(l)(1)), relating to discharges composed entirely of return flows from irrigated agriculture; section 404(f)(1)(A) (33 U.S.C.1344(f)(1)(A)), relating to discharges of dredged or fill materials from normal farming, silviculture, and ranching activities, such as plowing, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage, harvesting for the production of food, fiber, and forest products, or upland soil and water conservation practices; section 404(f)(1)(C) (33 U.S.C.2 1344(f)(1)(C)), relating to discharges of dredged or fill materials for the purpose of construction or maintenance of farm or stock ponds or irrigation ditches and maintenance of drainage ditches; section 404(f)(1)(E) (33 U.S.C.1344(f)(1)(E)), relating to discharges of dredged or fill materials for the purpose of construction or maintenance of farm roads or forest roads or temporary roads for moving mining equipment in accordance with best management practices.  See EPA website here.  o CERCLA (section 103) exempts application or handling of agricultural pesticides.  Retrieved here.  o Clean Air Act:  “Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer,” Congressional Research Service, may 21, 2010, C. Copeland, pp 23ff.  Retrieved here.
  • Regulation of U.S. commercial markets:  U.S. markets are intensely and closely regulated – and need to be in order for normal commerce to be possible.  See, e.g., the Uniform Commercial Code discussed at Duke Law and retrieved here.
  • Clean Water Act:  33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972).  See the summary at the U.S. EPA website here.
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA): 16 U.S.C. 703-712 (1918 as amended)
  • Clean Air Act: 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et. sec. (1970)
  • Endangered Species Act: 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et. sec (1973)
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act: 16 U.S.C. Ch. 31 (1972)
  • Strict regulatory liability:  For a discussion of the distinction, between knowing something is wrong and knowing it is illegal, see: Leocal v. Ashcroft, 543 U.S. 1, (2004).  See the law review article: “When is Strict Criminal Liability Just?” Kenneth W. Simons, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Vol. 87, No. 4 (1997).

Livestock

  • Use of cropland for raising or feeding livestock:  About 18% of U.S. agricultural lands are potential croplands but are used for the raising of livestock or livestock feed.  This includes about 3% that is grazed woodland.  The statistics in this paragraph come from the USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007, tables 8, 9, 10, and 11.  These tables are linked here.
  • Cattle impacts on climate change: See: “Rearing Cattle Produces More Greenhouse Gasses than Driving Cars, UN Report Warns,” U.N. News, Nov. 29, 2006.  Retrieved here.
  • Size, value, and impact of livestock industry:  o Employment and protein intake:  1.3 billion people employed globally and 1/3 of humanity’s protein intake.  “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006.  Retrieved here.  o Land area occupied worldwide:  Occupies 26% of the ice-free land surface of the planet. “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006.  Retrieved here.  This increases to 30% when one includes land devoted to raising feed.  o Land area occupied in U.S.:  783 million acres, or nearly 35% of the total U.S. land area, in livestock grazing in 2002.  USDA ERS – Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Grazing Lands and Environmental Quality.  Retrieved here.  o U.S. farm gate value of livestock sales:  $154 billion (52% of total U.S. agricultural market value).  $61 billion is for cattle.  “Table 2 – Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold Including Landlord’s Share and Direct Sales: 2007 and 2002,” USDA Census of Agriculture, 2007.  Retrieved here.
  • Concentration in the livestock industry: o Dairy:  See: “Low Costs Drive Production to Large Dairy Farms,” USDA/ERS, Amber Waves, September 2007. Retrieved here.  Also see: “Changes in the Size and Location of U.S. Dairy Farms,” USDA – Economic Research Service.  Retrieved here  o Hogs:  Between 1992 and 2007, the # of U.S. hog farms fell by 70%.  Total production stayed the same.  Average hog farm in 1992: 945 head; in 2004: 4,646 head.  In 2004, 80% of hogs produced on farms of over 2,000 head. “Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Animal Agriculture and the Environment,”  USDA-Economic Research Service, Retrieved here.  o Industry wide:  On-farm land per animal declined by 40% in the 15 years between 1982 and 1997.  “Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Animal Agriculture and the Environment,”  USDA-Economic Research Service, Retrieved here.
  • Land extensive nature of range grazing: According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 8.2 million animal unit months (AUMs) were used on 157 million acres or 19 acres per AUM (which is, in turn, is 1/12 of the year, depending on seasonal conditions).  See:  “Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing,” U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, June 2011. Retrieved here.
  • Permit requirement for a “base property” near the public lease:  See:  “Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing,” U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, June 2011. Retrieved here.
  • Cattlemen’s land trusts:  E.g.: o Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust: http://www.ccalt.org/index.html; o Oregon (and Northwest) Rangelands Trust:http://www.oregonrangelandtrust.com/;  o California Rangelands Trust: http://rangelandtrust.org/;  o Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust: http://www.kbrt.org/.
  • Lost access to land a major cattle industry issue:  See: Future of Farming: The Beef Industry Perspective,” Washington Cattlemen’s Association.  Retrieved here.
  • Environmental impacts of livestock industry:  See generally: “Issue Paper: Environmental Impacts of Livestock on U.S. Grazing Lands,” Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, November 2002.  Retrieved here.  Some specific impacts:  o Nitrogen and phosphorous in watersheds:  14% for livestock compared with only .08% for point sources or 1/3 of the nation’s loads. The livestock contribution of phosphorous was 26% compared with only 3% for point sources.  See: “Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Animal Agriculture and the Environment,” USDA-Economic Research Service, Briefing Rooms.  Retrieved here.  1/3 of the nation’s loads of nitrogen and phosphorous:  And: “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006, retrieved here.  o Eutrophication:  “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006, retrieved here.  o Antibiotic resistance in humans:  “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006, retrieved here.  o Erosion: 55% of total erosion and sediment in freshwater. “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006, retrieved here.  o Deforestation:  USDA ERS – Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Grazing Lands and Environmental Quality, retrieved here.  See also: “Livestock a Major Threat to Environment,” U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 11/29/06.  Retrieved here.
  • Capitalization of value of grazing permits:  See: “Public Land Policy and the Value of Grazing Permits,” L.A. Torell and J.P. Doll (Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, 174-184, 1991).  Retrieved here.
  • Public Rangeland Improvement Act of 1978: 43 USC Sec. 1901 ff. Retrieved here.
  • Critique of grazing permit program as subsidy:  “Assessing the Full Cost of the Federal Grazing Program,” K Moskowitz, C. Romaniello, Center for Biological Diversity, October 2002.  Retrieved here.
  • Background and history of the Taylor Grazing Act:  43 U.S.C. 315.  See the discussion at: “The Taylor Grazing Act,” U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.  Retrieved here.
  • Decline in authorized grazing permits:  Permitted AUMs declined from 18.2 million in 1953 to 12.4 million in 2010.  See: “Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing,” U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, June 2011. Retrieved here.
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976:  As amended, Public Law 94-579.  Retrieved here.
  • Proposed permit buy-out legislation:  See: “Long-Awaited Federal Grazing Buy-Out Legislation Is Introduced in Washington, D.C.,” Western Watershed Project, October 20, 2003, Press Release.  Retrieved here.
  • Support for grazing permit buy out legislation:  See: “The Multiple-Use Conflict Resolution Act Will Not Create New Rights in Grazing Permits,” National Public Lands Campaign.  Retrieved here. The National Public Lands Campaign seeks to end the current grazing permit system.  Their website is at: http://www.publiclandsranching.org/.
  • BLM management standards for grazing permits: See: “Rangeland Health Standards Handbook,” Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, January 19, 2001.  Retrieved here.  Also see: “Fact Sheet on the BLM’s Management of Livestock Grazing,” U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, June 2011. Retrieved here.  An example standards: “Utah Rangeland Health Standards,” Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.  Retrieved here.
  • Coordinated Resource Management (CRM):  See: “Coordinated Resource Management: A Voluntary and Collaborative Problem-Solving Process for Resource Management Issues,” Society for Range Management.  Retrieved here.  Site provides local contacts  throughout the West.
  • Significance of public land permits for cattle industry:  See: “Environmental Interactions with Agricultural Production: Grazing Lands and Environmental Quality,” USDA, Economic Research Service.  Retrieved here.   Also see: “Assessing the Full Cost of the Federal Grazing Program,” K Moskowitz, C. Romaniello, Center for Biological Diversity, October 2002,  Retrieved here.
  • Cost-impact argument for eliminating grazing permits: “Assessing the Full Cost of the Federal Grazing Program,” K Moskowitz, C. Romaniello, Center for Biological Diversity, October 2002.  Retrieved here.

Farm Bill

  • USDA crop insurance programs:  See the USDA Crop and Livestock and Insurance, tools and calculators webpage here.
  • Farm Bill spending:  Farm Bill spending is broken down in various ways by various sources.  A useful picture of spending for the 2008 Farm Bill can be found in: “What is the ‘Farm Bill’,” R. Johnson & J. Monke, Congressional Research Service, Dec. 10, 2010.  Retrieved here.
  • Farm Bill programs:  See the USDA/NRCS Farm Bill website here.
  • Unmet need for Farm Bill conservation funding:  NRCS tracks unmet demand, but only for those who unsuccessfully apply for program assistance.  Because so little funding is available, few trouble to apply.  And of those who do (or might) demand is still limited to those landowners who are prepared to pay the other 50% or more of the cost.  Measured in this way, demand for EQIP funding, for example, is still 3-4 times supply.  Still, it is estimated that only about 10% of landowners have actually implemented practices on their land because the funding is to wholly inadequate.  See: Improving America’s Conservation Efforts,” USDA Report, sec. 3 Expand Economic Incentives for Conservation, page 62 & 63.  Retrieved here.
  • Effect of cost share in motivating farmer conservation:.  See: “Reconsidering ‘Crowding Out’ of Intrinsic Motivation from Conservation Incentives: Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation,” Stephanie Stern, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2008) retrieved here.  See: “Use of Penalties and Rewards in Agri-Environmental Policy,” Y. Yano and D. Blandford (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University) 2008.  Retrieved here.   The NRCS struggles with “conservation compliance” under Farm Bill commodity programs also suggests the problem:  “A Fair Farm Bill for Conservation,” (Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy, July 2007.  Retrieved here.   One symptom of this is also producers’ inclination to also “game” the system: “The Pursuit of Efficiency and Its Unintended Consequences: Contract Withdrawals in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program,” A. Cattanao (Review of Agricultural Economics—Volume 25, Number 2—Pages 449–469).  Retrieved here.
  • Farm Bill spending estimates: “Actual Farm Bill Spending and Cost Estimates, (Congressional Research Service, 12/13/10, CRS 7-5700 – R41195) retrieved here.  See Table 2, Page 6 – Actual Reported Expenditures and projections, 2008-2012.
  • Early Farm Bill history:  Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933: (Pub.L. 73-10, 48 Stat. 31, enacted May 12, 1933) and the later Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (P.L. 75-430).
  • Commodity program payment and income limits: See, generally, “Commodity Program Payment Limitations and Adjusted Gross Income Limitations (Sustainable Agriculture Coalition), retrieved here.
  • Farm industry position on payment and income limits:  The 2011 American Farm Bureau Federation (ABFB) Policy Book opposes“(3) income means testing; (4) payment limitations” for commodity programs.  See National Farm Policy, Policy #239, Pg. 65, lines 113-114. Retrieved here.
  • Who receives farm subsidy payments:  “From 1995-2009, the largest and wealthiest top 10 percent of farm program recipients received 74 percent of all farm subsidies, with an average total payment over 15 years of $445,127 per recipient. The bottom 80 percent of farmers received an average total payment of just $8,682 per recipient. According to the USDA, 62 percent of farmers in United States did not collect any subsidy payments at all.”  Northwest Farm Bill Action Group – Subsidies.  Retrieved here.
  • World Trade Organization complaints against U.S. Farm Subsidies: See: “Brazil’s WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program: A Brief Overview,” Randy Schnepf, Congressional Research Service, 2009 Retrieved here.
  • Impact of commodity programs on environment:  See: “Farm Program Payments are an Important Factor in Landowners’ Decisions to Convert Grassland to Cropland,”  Government Accounting Office (GA)-07-1054) retrieved here.
  • Impact of commodity subsidies on world poverty:  See: “Unilever Chief Attacks Farm Subsidies,” Farmers Guardian,” Jan. 20, 2011, W. Surman.  Retrieved here.   See: “You are what you grow.” Michael Pollen, New York Times Magazine, April 22, 2007). Retrieved here; “Farm Bill Robs Poor to Pay Rich,” Center for American Progress, August 16, 2007.  Retrieved here.
  • Impact of Farm Bill non-subsidized agriculture:  91% of our fruits and 78% of our vegetables (all non-subsidized crops) are grown on the urban edge.  See chart by American Farmland Trust, Farming on the Edge.  Retrieved here.
  • Impact of Farm Bill on production of unhealthy foods:  See “U.S. Farm Bill: Dictator of the American Diet.”  Minnesota 20/20, R. Perr, April 20, 2011.  Retrieved here.   Also see “You are what you grow.” Michael Pollen, New York Times Magazine, April 22, 2007). Retrieved here.  See American Farmland Trust materials on 2012 Farm Bill retrieved here.
  • Prevented spending on environmental stewardship:  See: “New Polls in Five States Show Farm Subsidy Cuts and More Conservation Spending Would Improve Public’s View of Congress,” Environmental Defense Fund, October 2, 2007).  Retrieved here.
  • European agricultural subsidies:  EU spends €65 billion annually on farm subsidies. www.farmsubsidy.org.
  • Vulnerability of farm subsidies to budget axe:  See: “Obama wants to end $5 billion a year U.S. farm subsidy,” C. Abbott, Reuters, Sept. 19, 2011.  Retrieved here.   See also: “Congress Passes 2012 Budget Bill to Fund Some Agencies,” Federal Times, 11/17/11, retrieved here.

Incentives

  • Conservation practices – USDA Field Office Technical Guide:  USFA Electronic Field Office Technical Guide (EFOTG) here.  The USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service has, over the years, developed and studied hundreds of highly-strategic conservation practices that can, when properly applied, essentially eliminate pollution.  Descriptions of the national conservation practices and their standards are all available on line here.
  • New York City Watershed Program:  For further information, contact Tom O’Brien, Executive Director, tobrien8@nycwatershed.org, Watershed Agricultural Council, 33195 State Highway 10, Walton, NY 13856, (607) 865-7790 – Ext. 103. at: http://www.nycwatershed.org/.  Also see: American Farmland Trust report provided for the Farming and the Environment Project entitled: “Dialogues with Agriculture: A Review of Processes Engaging Farm Groups in Protecting the Environment by Protecting Farmland,” October 16, 2000.
  • Pioneers in Conservation:  Grants for saving salmon and farms.  See the materials collected here.
  • Environmental subsidies by other nations: See, e.g., the “bibliography” of articles on subsidies and environmental policy at the Institute for European Environmental Policy, “Agriculture and Land Management,” retrieved here.  Compare this with U.S. subsidies for agriculture which, thus far, usually include only minimal environmental requirements.
  • Regulations vs. incentives:  There has been a good deal of writing on the issue of incentives vs. regulations – much of it driven by self-interested parties.  But, for an interesting set of case study comparisons, see: “Regulatory Policy vs. Economic Incentives,” (Environmental Literary Council, 2008) retrieved here.
  • Conservation district “success stories”:  For a remarkable list of conservation district successes, I would just invite the reader to Google “conservation district success stories” for a long list of excellent examples from districts throughout the United States.  www.google.com.
  • Voluntary incentives as key tool for non-point pollution:  Note that EPA’s own website on preventing nonpoint pollution focuses almost entirely on voluntary measures.  See: here.
  • Improvements and deficits for current incentives efforts:  For the report on the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) see the “Summary of Findings: Assessment of the effects of Conservation Protection for Cultivated Crop Land in the Great Lakes Region,” USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, September 2011, retrieved at: here.
  • Metrics: See the excellent text on metrics: “Metrics 2.0: Creating Scorecards for High-Performance Work Teams and Organizations,” Ruth A. Huwe (Praeger, 2010).
  • Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP): On line here.  See Michigan Act No. 1, Public Acts of 2011, SB122, March 8, 2011 retrieved here. See the MAEAP fact sheet: “MAEAP – Get the Facts,” on line here.   “Financial Cost and Environmental Outcomes of MAEAP,” C.L. Vollmer-Sanders, MAEAP, retrieved here.
  • Process for prioritizing regulations or incentives:  The Governor of the State of Washington convenes a Joint Natural Resources Cabinet which coordinates natural resources policies within the Administration – especially as they relate to salmon recovery.  See: “The Joint Natural Resources Cabinet,” retrieved here.
  • History of USDA/NRCS:  The original Soil Erosion Service was formed under the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1933 and then moved, as the Soil Conservation Service, to the Department of Agriculture in 1935.  Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, P.L. 74-46, 49 Stat. 163, 16 U.S.C. § 590(e), April 27, 1935.  Its name was changed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1994: Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, 108 Stat. 3223, October 13, 1994.
  • Bird’s Point levee and Cairo Illinois flood: See the remarkable video: “Man-Made Disaster at Bird’s Point Levee,” on line here.  There were apparently some $85 million in crop losses and some $156 million in economic impacts from this decision according to a study by Iowa State University and the University of Missouri referenced in this video.  See the comments of one Missouri politician on the fairness of this decision here.
  • Washington’s Ruckelshaus Process:  After a 3-year stay on development of local “critical areas ordinances” required under Washington’s Growth Management Act, in 2011 the Governor signed a bill that will, hopefully, formalize a hard-fought agriculture-environmental negotiation and help resolve what is required.  Washington ESHB 1886 (2011 Session) on line here.  See: Ruckelshaus Center website here. Washington SB 5248 (2007). Washington SB 6520 (2007).  See Washington ESHB 1886, 2011 Regular Session.  Also see: “A Framework for Stewardship: Final Report of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center on the work of the Agriculture and Critical Areas Committee,” William D, Ruckelshaus Center, October 2010.  On line here.
  • Florida Green Swamp Authority:  See: American Farmland Trust report provided for the Farming and the Environment Project entitled: “Dialogues with Agriculture: A Review of Processes Engaging Farm Groups in Protecting the Environment by Protecting Farmland,” October 16, 2000.  Also see the Sierra Club website here.  And see the Green Swamp Interactive Website retrieved here.
  • Wisconsin Farming and Conservation Together:  See American Farmland Trust report provided for the Farming and the Environment Project entitled: “Dialogues with Agriculture: A Review of Processes Engaging Farm Groups in Protecting the Environment by Protecting Farmland,” October 16, 2000.   See the FACT proposal on line here.  Subsequently, the project became the Fairfield Marsh Conservation Partnership, on line here.

Integrated Pest Management & Pesticides

  • U.S. Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA): Public Law 104-170 (H.R. 1627).  See the EPA summary retrieved here.
  • Integrated Pest Management explained: Discussed at the EPA website here.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) grants: See the discussion at the American Farmland Trust website here.   See the website of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, on line here.   Also see current grants availability here.

The Law

  • Court deference on legislative matters:  See, e.g.: See Baker v. Carr, 396 U.S. 186, 217 (1962).
  • Takings law and property rights: See, e.g., Agins v. City of Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255 (1980).
  • Buffer requirements and property rights: The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of landowners in a related case:  See: Swinomish Tribal Community and Washington Environmental Council v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, et al. (2007).  This was reported in: “Property owners prevail in Supreme Court – GMA does not require mandatory buffers,” Kitsap-Peninsula Business Journal, Oct. 8, 2007.  Retrieved here.
  • Government “givings” and “takings”:  See: “Agricultural Sustainability and Smart Growth: Saving Urban-Influenced Farmland,” E. Thompson, Jr., (Funders Network for Smart Growth, April 2001).  Retrieved here.
  • Property rights initiatives:  See: “Property Rights Issues on the 2006 Ballot,” National Conference of State Legislatures, November 12, 2006.  Retrieved at: here.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act: 88 Stat. 1660 (1974), 42 U.S.C. sec. 300 ff.

Political Positions and Effects

  • Small group impacts on political process:  See: “Swift Boat Veterans Ad on John Kerry – Sellout (2004), You Tube and the other similar ads listed there.  Retrieved here.
  • Issues upon which agriculture takes a negative position:  A quick look at the nature and diversity of the issues upon which farm groups take a negative position in their annual Congressional or legislative efforts is enough to illustrate this point.  See, e.g., the American Farm Bureau Federation’s list of policy issues on line here.  Or take a look at similar legislative tracking lists for some state-level farm organizations.  E.g. see the Washington State Farm Bureau’s legislative tracking lists for the current (2011) Legislative session listed with their periodic “Legisletters” on line here.  This is further confirmed by scanning through the current American Farm Bureau Federation’s Policy Book – “2011 AFBF Policy Book.”  Retrieved at: here.
  • The Big Sort:  This result is strongly supported by the research that has been done.  See, generally, “The Big Sort,” Bill Bishop, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
  • Privacy policy initiatives by Farm Bureau:  See, for example, the 2011 AFBF Policy Book (retrieved here) and, specifically pp. 44, 57, 58, 65, 66, 76, 81, 84, 85, 97, 145, 146, 152, 158, & 203.  Agriculture’s wish for privacy was recently reflected in proposed Florida legislation that would make it a felony to take pictures of farmland, even from the side of the road.  Florida SB 1246 (2011 Session, available here).  Apparently the motivation for this bill was farmer concern about the potential for claims about the mistreatment of animals.  See: “PETA slams Norman’s bill on farmland photos,” Tampa Bay Online, March 5, 2011.  Retrieved here.

Clean Water Act & Wetlands

  • Dairy pollution litigation:  Citizens United vs. Bosma Dairy:  Citizens United vs. Henry Bosma Dairy, 305 F.3d 943 (9th Cir. 2002).  See the law review comment here.
  • Dairy Nutrient Management Act:  Washington State’s “Dairy Bill”:  RCW 90.64 (1998).
  • Clean Water Act and “no net loss”:  33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972).  White House Office on Envtl. Policy, Protecting America’s wetlands: A Fair, Flexible, and Effective Approach (Aug. 24, 1993), available at http://www.wetlands.com/fed/aug93wet.htm.  Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of “Waters of the United States,” 68 Fed. Reg. 1991 (Jan. 15, 2003).  See: “Reforms needed in wetlands regulatory policy,” The National Academies, June 26, 2001.  Retrieved here.
  • The challenges of achieving “no net loss”:  “Reforms needed in wetlands regulatory policy,” The National Academies, June 26, 2001.  Retrieved here.
  • Recent wetland mitigation policy:  “Compensatory Mitigation,” Wetlands, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on line here.
  • Agriculture and urban conversions of wetlands:  According to the USDA, in the period 1954 to 2002, 66% of wetland conversions in the U.S. were due to agriculture.  Urban uses have, more recently, replaced agriculture as the chief cause of wetland losses – and agriculture has become the major source of conversion back to wetlands.  See: USDA Economic Research Service – Wetlands Status and trends.  Retrieved here.
  • Issues and concerns about compensatory mitigation system:  Making Mitigation Work: The Report of the Mitigation that Works Forum (WA Department of Ecology, December 2008), see especially Recommendation 2 – Watershed Approach.  Retrieved here.
  • Benefits of Clean Water Act: “A Benefits Assessment of Water Pollution Control Programs Since 1972: Part 1 – The Benefits of Point Source Controls for Conventional Pollutants in Rivers and Streams – Final Report,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, January 2000, prepared for EPA by the Research Triangle Institute.  Retrieved here.
  • Improvements in water quality resulting from CWA:  See, e.g.: here.
  • Non-point pollution as primary issue today:  See: “What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency web article.  Retrieved here.
  • “No net loss” of wetlands – mitigation system performance:  Recent studies indicate we are not meeting the “no net loss” outcome sought under the Clean Water Act—averaging less than 50% functional equivalency.  See: “Sustaining our remaining wetlands for people, fish and wildlife,” Washington Department of Ecology, November 2006.  Retrieved here.
  • 100 million acres of wetlands lost in U.S.:  See “History of Wetlands in the Coterminous United States,” T. Dahl and G, Allerd, U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Paper #2425, retrieved here.

Climate Change

  • Climate change and waterfowl: See the Ducks Unlimited website discussion of Climate Change and Waterfowl here
  • American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454).  Waxman-Markley passed the House but failed in the U.S. Senate.
  • AFT positions on Climate Change: See AFT positions here.
  • The current status of climate science and consensus:  “Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007,” United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2007) retrieved here.   Also: “Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Geneva Switzerland (2007), retrieved here.   Also see: “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” United States Global Change Research Program, retrieved here.
  • Impacts of climate change on agriculture: See generally: “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),”   Retrieved here. The impacts of climate change on agriculture are likely to include: o Water: Overtaxing limited supplies of fresh water, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” Retrieved here.  o Severe weather:  Increased frequency of severe weather events, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),”  Retrieved here.  o Weeds, disease, pests:  Increased difficulties with weeds, plant and animal disease, insect pests, and reduced efficacy of today’s controls.  “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),”  Retrieved here.  o Reduced forage:  Diminished capacity of the land and forage to support livestock, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” Retrieved here.  o Interactions with other social and environmental issues that already exist: “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),”  Retrieved here.
  • Impacts of agriculture on climate:  o Overall responsibility: 8.6% of U.S. human generated greenhouse gasses. “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” Retrieved here   o Deforestation:  Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” Retrieved here.  o Tillage: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (2009),” Retrieved here.  o Chemical fertilizers and nitrous oxide:  See: US EPA Climate webpage, Nitrous Oxide.  Retrieved here.  o Methane:  US EPA Climate webpage, Methane.  Retrieved here.
  • Pressure on food prices from climate impacts on agriculture:  “Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation,” Pew Center on Global Climate Change, September 2006,  pgs 40-57 (esp. p. 42 & 56). Retrieved here.
  • Agriculture strategies for addressing climate change:  See: “Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers & Ranchers,” American Farmland Trust, 2010.  Retrieved here.   For a thorough discussion of the prospects for some of these strategies, see the materials and links at: “Climate Friendly Farming,” Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University. Retrieved here.  Also generally see: “Fifth Climate Action Report to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change,” U.S. Department of State, Ch. 4, Policies and Measures, pp 56-57.  Retrieved here.  And see:  “Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation,” Pew Center on Global Climate Change, September 2006,  pgs 40-57 (esp. p. 42 & 56). Retrieved here.   Specifically for sprawl impacts, see:  “California Sees Sprawl as Warming Culprit,” USA Today, June 6, 2007, J. Ritter.  Retrieved here. And see: “The climate impacts of land surface changes and carbon management, and the implications for climate change mitigation policy,” Climate Policy 3 (2003) 149-157.  Retrieved here.
  • Proposed Federal climate legislation:  House bill:  American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, HR2454, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill.  Retrieved here.  And the Senate version: Clean Energy, Jobs and American Power Act of 2009, S.1733, known as the Kerry-Boxer Bill.  Retrieved  here.
  • American Farm Bureau Federation climate policies and denial:  See the 2011 AFBF Policy Book, specifically the policy on Climate Change – #503.  Retrieved here.   See the notice of the AFBF position “AFBF: Vote No on Climate Bill” dated June 25, 2009.  Retrieved here.   “The Farm Bureau: Denying Climate Change, undermining Labor, and Losing Relevancy in 2010,” Paula Crossfield, Huffington Post – Huffpost Green, January 13, 2010, retrieved here.  “Farm Bureau not a fan of climate change legislation or regulation,” Kristy Foster, Farm and Dairy, March 11, 2010,  retrieved here.  See: “Farm Bureau Fires Back Against Climate Bill’s ‘Power Grab,’” Allison Winter, New York Times, January 11, 2010, retrieved here.  See the notice of the AFBF position “AFBF: Vote No on Climate Bill” dated June 25, 2009.  Retrieved here.  See: “Scientists Request Meeting with Farm Bureau President to Discuss Group’s ‘Inaccurate’ Stance on Climate Change,” Union of Concerned Scientists, January 7, 2010, retrieved here.  The letter is on line here.  And see: “Alfred E. Neuman now leads the AFB. Bit Ag on Climate Change: ‘What me worry,’”  Tom Laskawy, Grist, September 28, 2009, retrieved here.   The 2010 Farm Bureau Convention, included a workshop entitled: “Global Warming: A Red Hot Lie.”  Attendees were told that the data for climate change is weak and offsets an “accounting gimmick.”  See: “Farm Bureau Fires Back Against Climate Bill’s ‘Power Grab,’” Allison Winter, New York Times, January 11, 2010, retrieved here.
  • Net impact of Climate Legislation on agriculture industry:  “The Effect of Higher Energy Prices from HR 2454 on Missouri Crop Production Costs,” FAORI-MU Report #5-09, July 2009.  Retrieved here.   Also see: “Costs and Benefits to Agriculture from Climate Change Policy,” B. Babcock, Iowa Ag Review, Summer  2009, Vol. 15, #3.  Retrieved here.  See: “Impacts of Climate Change Legislation on Agriculture in the Rocky Mountain States: Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico,” Hurd, Goemans, Frisvold, and Stone.  American Farmland Trust, April 2, 2010.  Retrieved here.   See also:  “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States,” Hatfield, Boote, Fay, Hahn, Izaurralde, Kimball, Mader, Morgan, Ort, Polley, Thomson, and Wolfe.  Agriculture (2009).  Retrieved here.  And see: “A Preliminary Analysis of the Effects of HR 2454 on U.S. Agriculture” Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, July 22, 2009. Retrieved here.
  • Other agriculture voices on climate:  See: “At the NY Times, Elevating the Voice of Farmers on Climate Change,” BigThink, Nisbet, November 22, 2010.  Retrieved here.
  • Farm Bureau positions on Clean Air Act and climate:  See: “Clean Air Act/Green House Gas Regulation,” American Farm Bureau Federation, Issue Paper, June 2011.  Retrieved here.    The Clean Air Act is at: 42 USC Ch. 85.
  • U.S. Supreme Court rulings on EPA climate authority:  Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007).  American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, docket No. 10-174, decided June 20, 2011.
  • Congressional efforts to remove EPA climate authority:  H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, passed the House April 7, 2011.
  • Other U.S. major industries that support climate legislation:  U.S. Climate Action Partnership – members include: o AES, o Alcoa, o Alstrom, o Boston Scientific, o Chrysler, o Dow, o Duke Energy, o DuPont, o Exelon, o Ford, o GE, o Honeywell, o Johnson & Johnson, o NextEra Energy, o NRG Energy, o Pepsico, o PG&E, o PNM Resources, o Rio Tinto, o Shell, o Siemens,o Weyerhaeuser.  Above list retrieved here.   See “A Call for Action: Consensus Principles and Recommendations from the Climate Action Partnership.”  Retrieved here.   Other Climate Bill supporters included: o Hewlett-Packard, o John Deer, o ConocoPhillips, o BP America o Several major U.S. labor organizations. See: “Myths and Facts Surrounding Climate Change Legislation,” American Farmland Trust, p. 5, retrieved here.  See also: “Exxon Supports Carbon Tax”, Calgary Herald, Canada.com, January 9, 2009.  Retrieved here.  And see: “Fred Smith addresses the topic of carbon tax,” FedEx Multimedia Center, April 27, 2009, retrieved here.  See presentation by Paul Anderson, CEO of Duke Energy, reported in: “Climate Change: Keeping up with the Andersons,” Joel Makower, April 7, 2005, retrieved here.  And: “On Carbon: Tax & Don’t Spend,” NY Times, March 25, 2008, Monica Prasad, retrieved here.
  • Failure of climate legislation:  “Cap and Tax Collapse,” Wall Street Journal – Review & Outlook, April 3, 2009, retrieved here.
  • Discrediting of concept of cap and trade: “Who Pays for Cap & Trade.  Hint: They were promised a tax cut during the Obama campaign,” Wall Street Journal, Review & Outlook, March 9, 2009, retrieved here.   “Beware of Cap and Trade Bills,” The Heritage Foundation, December 6, 2007, retrieved at: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/12/beware-of-cap-and-trade-climate-bills.
  • Challenges to carbon offset trading from the left:  “FTC Asks if Carbon-Offset Money is Well Spent,” Louise Story, New York Times, January 9, 2008, retrieved here.
  • Challenges to carbon offset trading from the right:  “Another Inconvenient Truth: Behind the feel-good hype of carbon offsets, some of the deals don’t deliver,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 26, 2007, retrieved here.   See: “Farm Bureau Fires Back Against Climate Bill’s ‘Power Grab,’” Allison Winter, New York Times, January 11, 2010, retrieved here.

Taxes & Spending

  • Cost of Community Services Studies:  See: “Fact Sheet: Cost of Community Services,” American Farmland Trust, and the list of studies assembled there.    Also see: “A Meta-Analysis of Cost of Community Services Studies,” M. Kotchett and S. Schulte, July 25, 2008, which analyzed 125 such studies and provides citations.  The study method for COCS studies is laid out in detail in “Cost of Community Services Studies: Making the Case for Conservation,” American Farmland Trust, 2002.  This publication is available for sale here.
  • Taxes by level of government:  The conservative website, www.usgovernmentrevenue.com, estimates that of the roughly $4.4 trillion Americans pay each year in taxes, about half is paid to the Federal Government, about 25% goes to the states, and the final 25% is paid in local taxes.
  • Oil, insurance, and aerospace industry subsidies:  “As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, it Reaps Subsidies,” David Kocieniewski, New Your Times Business Day, July 3, 2010.  Retrieved here.  Oil industry subsidies from the Federal Government have been estimated to average roughly $10 billion annually: OilChange International, “The Price of Oil,” retrieved here.    Also see: U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives: Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2008 , p. 291, retrieved here.  (Last visited April 24, 2008.).  Congressional Research Service, Oil and Gas Tax Subsidies: Current Status and Analysis, p. 17.  According to Harpers Index, “The estimated value of government subsidies that will go to the oil and gas industries between now and 2015: $78,155,000,000” From Harpers Index, November 27, 2011, The Thom Hartman Program, retrieved here. That amounts to $19.5 billion annually.  Compare, also, medical insurance subsidies: “Breaking News . . . Insurance Industry Report Says its Billions in Medicare Subsidies Should be Continued,” National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Sept. 15, 2009.  Retrieved here.    Research papers from American Health Insurance Plans are assembled here.  Also see the case made by the European Commission at Defense-Aerospace.com, “Boeing-Airbus WTO Dispute: The EU Challenge to U.S. Government Subsidies to Boeing,” March 22, 2007.  Retrieved here.

Environmental Markets

  • Environmental markets for agriculture: For a detailed explanation, see: “Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers & Ranchers,” D. Stuart and D. Canty, American Farmland Trust, 2010, available  here.  Links to other related materials are available on line at: www.farmland.org/environmentalmarkets.  See the materials collected on line here.   “How Ecosystem Markets Can Transform Agriculture and Protect the Environment” previously published on line by American Farmland Trust.  A link to this paper is available here and in the materials posted above.
  • Acid rain environmental market:  See the Environmental Protection Agency’s websites on Acid Rain, available here.   This program is authorized under Title IV of the Clean Air Act passed in 1990.
  • Fidelity offsets” critique of environmental markets:  There are those who see carbon offset markets as ironic enough to have actually created a hypothetical offset market called Cheatneutral in which someone who cheats on their spouse can assuage their guilt by purchasing fidelity “offsets” from someone who is being faithful.  See: here.  Unlike marriage infidelity, of course, pollution is not something we can avoid.  For all of us, the only question about pollution is: how much?
  • USDA Office of Environmental Markets:  On line: here.
  • Environmental market study legislation and report: SB 6805 passed by the 2008 Washington State Legislature.  It and its history can be found on line here. Report:“Washington Conservation Markets Study: Final Report,” Evergreen Funding Consultants, January 27, 2009.  Retrieved here.

Washington State and Puget Sound

  • Puget Sound farm statistics: There were about 583,000 acres in working agriculture in the 12 Puget Sound Counties in 2007.  See USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture – table on land in farms. – retrieved here.  These farms produced about $1.1 billion in annual “farm-gate” sales value.  See USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture – table on market value of agricultural products sold – retrieved here
  • Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan and farms: The Plan is available here.   In particular, take a look at Volume I, Chapter 7 and the section entitled: “Habitat: Proposal for the prosperity of farming and salmon.”  Pg. 419  Retrieved here.
  • Washington State Environmental Policy Act:  See, generally, the Washington Department of Ecology’s website on SEPA here.
  • Trumpeter Swan Society: Their website is at www.swansociety.org and, in particular, the site of the Washington Swan Working Group led by Martha Jordan here.
  • Gordon Dairy swan easement project:  See: here.
  • Sweet Grass Farm: See at: here.  Wetland ranching project was overseen by KWIAHT Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea, on line here
  • Skagit Farming for Wildlife project:  See TNC’s website here.
  • Wilcox Farms: See their website here.
  • Farm-City Forums:  See, e.g. Forum done Pierce County, WA on line here.