Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Selected Paper prepared for presentation at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s 2009 AAEA & ACCI Joint Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, July 26-28, 2009.


Copyright 2009 by Robert Sheeder and Gary D. Lynne.

Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided this copyright notice appears on all such copies.


Since the destruction and despair caused by the dust bowl of the 1930’s, Americans and their government have taken a keen interest in natural resource conservation policy on agricultural land throughout the country. As a reflection of this, the farm bill of 1936 entitled the “Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act” included for the first time provisions that provided payments and support to farmers willing to employ soil conservation measures on their farms (Cain and Lovejoy, 2004). While the main purpose of this bill was to provide financial support to impoverished farmers dealing with low commodity prices, the fact remains that natural resource conservation was starting to become an important issue for the American public.