Sec. Vilsack: That's right. Basically, we're always going to be able to reach out to producers-- to farmers and ranchers--because they obviously have a vested interest in their own property and improving the condition of soil. All farmers are concerned about water quality and quantity. But there's a growing awareness on the part of many that agricultural land and forested areas of this country represent 75 percent of the land mass of the United States; that weather patterns are changing, becoming more intense, storms are more problematic, droughts are longer, floods are more serious, storms are stronger; and all of that has an impact on habitat, it has an impact on crop production.
Whether you're someone who likes to hunt and fish or you're somebody who wants to feed the world, you've got a stake in making sure that land and water is doing what it needs to do. It awakens in people an understanding that they have an interest in conservation, even if it's activities occurring on a farm and you live in the city. Your life is impacted by what happens on that farm, because you like drinking clean water, you like going out on a fall day hunting pheasants, or you love being in the serenity of a trout stream.