Join Restore America’s Estuaries for our December edition of our Coastal Resilience Webinar series. This month, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the current status of the Farm Bill, and what it means for coastal restoration. We’ll be joined by Paul Babbitt, a staff member for the House Committee on Agriculture, Dave Welker, Farms Conservation Programs Manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ken Kriese, ACEP – WRE National Program Manager for the USDA National Resource Conservation Service, and Jeremy Peters, CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
Paul Babbitt: Paul is the Staff Director of the House Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee. Before joining the Committee, Babbitt served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Rep. Tom O’Halleran where he led the Congressman’s 2018 farm bill efforts, including the conference. He is a native Arizonan where his family has a long history in ranching. Babbitt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Syracuse University and Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law.
Ken Kriese: Ken is the National Program Manager for NRCS’ Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE). Ken has a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and has spent most of his 25+ year career focused on the conservation of wetland habitat and bird populations throughout the western hemisphere. In his free time, Ken likes to row, run marathons, and explore new places with his husband and three dogs.
Dave Welker: Dave has served as the Farm Conservation Programs Coordinator in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Headquarters Office for the past 16 years. Dave works at the national level with the U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies responsible for implementing the conservation programs of the Farm Bill to maximize the fish and wildlife benefits of those programs. Dave also serves on the Implementation Team for the National Seed Strategy and several technical Teams for the Service’s pollinator conservation initiative.
Jeremy Peters: Jeremy is the CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts. During his career with NACD, Peters has served as Chief Operating Officer as well as Legislative Affairs Manager. Earlier in his career, he served as Federal Policy Director for American Farmland Trust and directed climate, conservation and energy programs for National Farmers Union. He previously worked on Capitol Hill for former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D – N.D., who sat on the House Agriculture Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.