FAMILY FARM ALLIANCE
Protect Water for Western Agriculture
Supplying water to Western farms largely relies on volatile government policies. The Alliance is a powerful advocate before the government for family farmers, ranchers, irrigation districts, and allied industries in 17 Western states to ensure the availability of reliable, affordable irrigation water needed to produce the world’s food, fiber, and fuel. You can support Family Farm Alliance’s advocacy for federal policies and laws that impact farmer’s many water needs in seventeen Western states.
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Meet Our President
Welcome from our executive director
“Waiting for Water” follows a family of farmers in a land of great potential, against a backdrop of challenges.
This brief film showcases the struggle of family farmers to ensure the water supply that not only protects their livelihood, but feeds the world. Watch and share this video to get our message out to the greater community.
Pat O'Toole, Wyoming Rancher
The phenomenal story of irrigated agriculture is something we should always feel proud of. Over 25 years ago, farmers and ranchers felt a serious threat to our ability to continue producing food and maintaining rural communities. The founders of our organization had a far-sighted view of an alliance that would bring together irrigators from the 17 Western states. While there continue to be challenges to ensure water for farmers, the Alliance continues to be up to the task.
Dan Keppen, Executive Director
Thanks for visiting our site. Here you will find loads of useful information regarding our continued effort to protect water for Western farmers and ranchers. Welcome to the cause!
Top US Profession: Farming
Farming is now the most respected profession in the U.S., garnering the highest rating of any industry in a 2020 nationwide poll. Farmers were boosted by a COVID-19-fueled jump in public awareness of food and how it gets to the table.
Spending Less on Food
Americans pay a smaller amount of their disposable private income on food than any other country. They are able to direct more dollars toward houses, automobiles, and an ever-growing array of consumer goods.
Western Ag Producers Face Many Challenges…
Regulatory & Policy Assaults
Regulatory and policy challenges – if left unchecked – can quickly diminish formerly plentiful water supplies.
Destructive tactics employed by litigious activists can harm progress on regulatory reform and obstruct efforts to modernize infrastructure that farmers and communities depend upon.
Western Water Infrastructure
Our water infrastructure is aging and in need of rehabilitation. Less progress has been made at the federal level toward developing new and improved water infrastructure. We need these projects to keep up with the growing water demands of the West.
We are the Problem Solvers
We support all efforts to secure a stable water supply for farms and ranches. Our philosophy is simple: the best solutions come from the ground up and are driven locally by real people with a grasp of reality “on-the-ground.” We work across the federal government to find solutions through education on a policy level and in full partnership to fully use available funding and cost-share opportunities.
The individual family farmer is the most effective voice for preserving Western water. With the Alliance, these individuals have a voice in Washington.
We have a frequent presence in Washington, DC and bring together other organizations from other sectors to tackle challenges we all have in common.
We seek innovative solutions to recover water supply certainty through modernizing and expanding infrastructure.
Curb Environmental litigation
We work with the executive branch and Congress to find ways to mitigate litigation and encourage collaboration and cooperation: critical elements to ensure that federal environmental laws are properly and effectively implemented on the ground.
Modernize antiquated laws
We work to streamline and modernize implementation of federal environmental laws written nearly 50 years ago, so they work better for food production, ecosystems, and rural communities.
Don't miss our Monthly Briefing e-newsletter containing the perfect mix of news, events, and analysis on Western Water issues that you won’t find anywhere else.
When you subscribe, you will also receive our periodic Water Review providing coverage of local and regional projects and profiles of individual Family Farm Alliance members.
A Summary of the...
President Biden’ first ten days in office were marked by numerous executive actions focused on tackling his Administration’s top priorities: the COVID-19 pandemic, the related economic crisis, racial justice, and the threat of extreme climate events.
A reliable water supply depends in part on the natural environment and, in the West, even more on the policy decisions reflected in laws, rulemaking, and court decisions. Learn more below about how the Family Farm Alliance represents you on the top priorities impacting water policy for agriculture.
Agriculture doesn’t need another association, but it does need an effective, low cost grass roots group that can get the job done. That belief was our foundation and it still drives every decision we make.
The Alliance in 2015 released its final water rights paper, intended to demonstrate the importance of the existing system, show that it actually works, and try to rebut growing arguments by some of our critics that the system should be scrapped and replaced with something like the “Australia model”, which has been a failure.
At the top of the list of the challenges confronting Western family farmers and ranchers is the daunting number of federal regulatory policy initiatives they face. These types of federal water resource policies and regulatory practices could potentially undermine the economic foundations of rural communities in the arid West by making farming and ranching increasingly more difficult.
clean water act
Today, more than a third of the 3.6 million stream miles in this country are designated as “impaired” under the federal CWA. Under the ESA, 28 types of salmon have been listed and none have recovered. Though listing of waters as impaired and species as endangered might be perceived by some as victories, they have by and large not translated to real improvements to the species on the ground.
Endangered species act
The very significant federal presence in the West presents unique challenges that producers may not face in other parts of the United States, particularly with respect to the reach of the ESA. In the West, once certain water supplies – one of the few certainties in Western irrigated agriculture – have now been added to the long list of existing “uncertainties.”
Are you committed to protecting and preserving Western irrigated agriculture?
For as low as $5, your kind donation supports domestic food production by family farmers and ranchers, and the resulting important benefits to economic, sociological, environmental, and national security matters.
SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS IN WAShington
Testifying on Capitol Hill
In the last fifteen years, we have testified before the U.S. Congress more than 80 times. Our power comes from bringing Western farmers and water managers to Washington who can share the impact of water policies on the ground.
Read Past testimony
When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.
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