May 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Reana Kovalcik, 202-547-5754, RKovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net
Budget Proposal Throws Administration’s Promises to Rural America Out the Window
Washington, DC, May 23, 2017 – President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request – “A New Foundation for American Greatness” – seeks to cut nearly $230 billion (21 percent) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) bottom line, a reduction that would effectively cripple the Department’s ability to serve American family farmers effectively.
“It is disappointing that the Administration has put forward a budget proposal that shows such disregard and disrespect for farmers and rural communities,” said Greg Fogel, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Policy Director. “This proposal spells disaster not only for America’s farmers and ranchers, but for our environment and our nation. By gutting the programs that help farmers start and grow their businesses, conserve resources and increase efficiency, and connect with supply chains that allow them to feed their neighbors, this proposal blatantly dismisses the contribution that rural communities make to this country.”
“We are particularly concerned with the proposed cuts to the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the total elimination of numerous Rural Business Cooperative Service programs, and the severe funding reductions for Farm Service Agency operating loan programs,” said Fogel. “Fortunately, we expect much of this budget request to be dead on arrival with appropriators.”
The Administration’s budget request seeks to affect more than just FY 2018 appropriations; it also seeks to undo the rigorous work of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees by rewriting the farm bill and raiding programs with mandatory funding. Of particular concern to NSAC are policy changes that propose to cut $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), and Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP).
“The agriculture, conservation, and nutrition communities must come together to oppose this distorted vision for the 2018 farm bill. Any attempt to produce budget reconciliation bills that would rewrite the farm bill during this Congress should be vigorously opposed,” said Fogel.
NSAC urges Congress to reject the following proposals:
On-Farm Research and Food Safety
Marketing and Nutrition
NSAC will publish additional analysis of the Administration’s FY 2018 budget proposal on our website: https://sustainableagriculture.net.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: https://sustainableagriculture.net
Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Farm Bill, Grants and Programs, Local & Regional Food Systems, Marketing and Labeling, Nutrition & Food Access, Press Releases, Research, Education & Extension, Rural Development
As a food justice and sustainability advocate, I am seeing local communities everyday unite around issues regarding the right to food. The conscious food movement is sparking on the grassroots level, but we need the top-down level to invest in the policies and programs that will supplement our work and effort to create healthy and sustainable American communities.
I believe the first promise we should look at is the promise that we will have a debt free self-sustaining country. It is going to be a painful process – no doubt about that, but our country is so in debt that if it were a private business it would be bankrupt. Does this not bother anyone? It bothers me. Cuts will have to be made. No one wants it to be their program and they can always see the advantages that could be made if they were just funded…. But funded how???? By borrowing more from other countries. It has to stop somewhere. GO Mr. President, GO!