February 22, 2013

The Post characterized farmers as receiving “cash rewards for practicing soil conservation,” but conservation programs are a public cost-sharing exercise with farmers — 98 percent of which are family-owned and -financed — to provide environmental benefits to the public at large.

Farmers incur considerable out-of-pocket expenses to adopt practices that improve water quality and air quality and preserve wildlife habitat beyond the boundaries of their land.

Conservation programs don’t “shift resources to agriculture that might find more efficient use elsewhere.” Rather, they represent a covenant between farmers and society to steward our nation’s resources.

Jon Scholl, Washington

The writer is president of American Farmland Trust.