Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Proposed USDA, EPA Budget Cuts

Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Proposed USDA, EPA Budget Cuts

Reuters reports ag leaders are criticizing the planned 21% cut to spending at the USDA in President Trump’s budget. This includes a reduction in some USDA statistical services and county-level staffing.

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“A lot of farmers and growers rely on USDA’s statistical capabilities to make a lot of marketing and risk-management decisions and planting decisions,” said John Newton, American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Market Intelligence, in a statement to Reuters.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the cuts to EPA and USDA hit rural economies hard and the proposed cuts to the EPA could impact future pesticide approvals.

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“Family farmers and ranchers are currently enduring the worst farm economy in well over a decade and an inadequate safety net that is hamstrung by $23 billion in budget cuts. The last thing our members need right now is more cuts to agencies and programs that provide incredibly important work, especially in the midst of the current farm crisis. These cuts and the message they send to rural America are deeply disappointing.

The President’s blueprint also provides for a $2.6 billion cut to EPA funding. This 31% drop guts the agency’s ability to provide very important environmental services and pesticide approval. It even limits the administration’s ability to rewrite or remove the unnecessary regulations that the President promised to address. Regulatory relief comes from having a system that works.”

Andrew Bahrenburg, National Young Farmers Coalition’s National Policy Director, says the budget proposal hurts the next generation of farmers.

“This budget proposal dramatically underestimates the economic urgency facing rural America. If we don’t recruit a new generation of farmers to take over for America’s aging farm population, rural economies will continue to unravel. Instead, this proposal would take us backward, and make rural life a less viable option for entrepreneurial young Americans. It’s a strange message for President Trump to send to the rural voters that helped elect him.”

Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary, says the programs targeted for cuts hurt his state’s rural communities. In 2016, USDA’s Rural Business and Cooperative Service supported 73 projects in Pennsylvania. This program is set to be cut by $95 million in the new budget.

“The programs targeted for cuts or elimination in the President’s budget proposal may be considered ‘discretionary’ in Washington parlance, but the work those programs support on the ground in communities across Pennsylvania and the country are vitally important. This is not the way to put ‘America first.’ If anything, it puts our rural communities and some of our most vulnerable neighbors at a tremendous disadvantage and represents a threat to their livelihood.

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USDA has been a vital partner of the commonwealth, but this budget threatens key mission areas of the department, and that could have harmful consequences to us here in Pennsylvania and to our citizens. We intend to work with our congressional delegation and others to underscore the importance of these investments in our state so that we can continue to grow our agricultural economy and our rural communities.”

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grady duckworth says:

I think he should cut it more, all my life I have been seeing farmers getting handouts from taxpayers like myself. The bigger the farmer the more welfare he recieves. The CRP program,all the grants they recieve. The wic program, I though the peach card they get could buy milk for the babies.Georgia picks up there sales tax. I might be wrong but I wish I could get some of the handouts

Orlando Chacon says:

Seriously?? Try being a vegetable grower, we never have received any sort of government assistance in any form, nor do we wish to receive any sort of subsidies or aid. For us, it survival of the fittest, the way it should be for all of agriculture. So please, do your research before painting all farmers with the same brush.

Chris Robb says:

Orlando, you speak the truth!! I to have bee farming organic vegetables for 25 years, i get real upset when the uneducated rage about all the subsidies Farmers receive, i wish they would do their research and not listen to the idiots of FOX NEWS who keep harping on this topic.

grady duckworth says:

, I also grow blueberries, and okra, and I never got a dime, but a lot of the big boys do, but I have done my research,and and a lot of farmers are making out real good with Uncle Sam

Orlando Chacon says:

Yes, many big boys (wheat, cotton, corn, soybeans, milk, etc.) are getting fat off our government, in fact, many of these welfare cases are wealthy WASHINGTON DC POLITICIANS feeding off the working people. This is the fat/programs that should be cut.

grady duckworth says:

Amen brother thats what I”m talkng abouti

Nailbanger says:

Im a grower in Hawaii, never did get subsidies or “help” from the feds, never will,,,,,
If you cant grow a crop and make aprofit without subsidies maybe you shouldnt be in the business is my theory,,,,
Im with all you folks who are sick of this BS

A.C. Hatfield-Nicholson says:

Where are the cuts?
Be specific where and who?

Michelle Casella says:

SNAP education should be cut from the budge, as it has little or no impact on SNAP recipients food choices. I support drug testing to receive these benefits. Since more than 75% of the Farm bill doesn’t directly go to agriculture, it should be scrutinized and the “fat” should be cut. Feeding children in need is important, but there can be cuts in areas that are non ag.

Barry Thoele says:

So you propose to spend millions of dollars to test people for drugs when it has been proven by the 18 states that now require drug testing that this is a bigger waste of money than the few people it actually catches? So let’s create a bigger waste of money and support a poor corporate executive that decides to further degrade the trust in the system. Glad that is cleared up. SMH. If you are really looking for waste to cut then look at real waste not this stupid rw talking point. It makes no sense whatsoever to spend millions to save a few thousand.

Ken McCammon says:

I find it interesting that the Republican Party has always been supported by farmers, despite the fact that the vast majority of farmers do not reap much benefits of their policies. This is not true of the large agribusinesses who get huge subsidies to support their already profitable businesses As for the segment in which I am involved, vegetable production, farm labor is the most important issue. Cuts to Ag will hurt in the long run, the elimination of migrant labor will end a lot of farming operations, and we will need a big hoist to lift the imported fruits and vegetables into the country over that wall we are going to build. All of this is one big joke on the American people. A very bod one and one which will have long term detrimental effects.
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Martin says:

What does is matter. Trump has got his personals so far up Putin and his wife in the White House , Russia now controls
us from the Tower to the Kremlin.

grady duckworth says:

Martin I think you have been watching too much CNN

Bill Spiller says:

The EPAs focus on ( Water of the US)and other overreach shows that they have two much power and their budget should be scaled back

Mike Compton says:

The cuts proposed by President Trump are damaging to the very population that put him in office. While many Americans appose government support for farmers, we expect our food to be affordable. The President needs to support his constituents.

No. 45 needs to support the American People not “his constituents”. His only true interest is making money!

scott watt says:

Cut the USDA budget now. Obama cut all Direct Payments to farmers for program crops; corn, wheat, rice, cotton, etc. The funds were redirected to SNAP, 45% of the budget goes to SNAP. The rest goes to B.S. Programs which don’t benefit farmers. The opinions expressed here do reflect where people get their news.