Each year, NSAC engages in the annual appropriations process, through which Congress funds the basic functions of the federal government. NSAC talks to its member groups to decide its appropriations priorities, and then advocates for those programs in D.C. and around the country. NSAC works to bring farmer and rancher voices to Appropriations Committee decisions by encouraging citizen action, coordinating grassroots response, and organizing farmer “fly-ins” to Washington, D.C.
Although there are many appropriations subcommittees (e.g., Homeland Security, Energy and Water, etc), NSAC’s work primarily involves the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees of the House and Senate, as those Subcommittees determine how farm, food, and rural development funding will be allocated each year. Without this funding, USDA would be unable to operate many of the programs that we care about.
In addition to appropriating funds, congressional appropriators often attach policy “riders” to appropriations bills. These riders limit funding for targeted programs or regulations, such as environmental protections for wetlands, water quality, and endangered species. NSAC works each year to defeat these harmful riders.
For the latest news on the annual appropriations process, visit our blog!
For the most recent funding levels for key sustainable agriculture and food systems programs as provided by the FY 2022 Omnibus, check out our updated FY 2023 Appropriations Chart.
Current Appropriations Priorities
It is important for your Representative and Senators to hear from you about why you think a particular farm, food, or rural program should be funded and at what level in the following year’s appropriations bill. Check out NSAC’s Take Action page for more details.
Recent Actions Taken by NSAC:
- NSAC submitted a letter to the House and Senate Subcommittees on Agriculture,
Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations on behalf of more than 100 food, farm, conservation, and rural organizations urging for full funding for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program at its authorized level of $60 million for FY 2023, April 2022
- NSAC submitted sustainable agriculture spending priorities in conference recommendations to appropriators for FY22, January 2022
- NSAC submitted sustainable agriculture spending priorities in conference recommendations to appropriators for FY21, November 2020
- NSAC submitted sustainable agriculture spending priorities in conference recommendations to appropriators for FY20, September 2019
- NSAC raised attention to the fact that the two-year budget deal continues sequestration to mandatory farm bill funding
- Brought farmers and farm advocates to Washington DC to discuss appropriations priorities, March and June 2019
- NSAC’s FY 2020 Agriculture Appropriations Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee and House Subcommittee, April 2019
- Drafted and delivered conservation letter from hundreds of organizations to appropriators, April 2019
- Drafted and delivered a letter from over 100 organizations calling on appropriators to prohibit USDA from relocating ERS and NIFA, March 2019
- Worked with House Appropriators and other members of Congress to introduce legislation aimed at using the appropriations process to stop USDA from relocating and realigning ERS and NIFA
- NSAC submitted sustainable agriculture spending priorities conference recommendations to appropriators for FY19, September 2018
- Brought farmers and farm advocates to Washington DC to discuss appropriations priorities, March and June 2018
- Drafted and delivered letter from dozens of organizations asking appropriators to delay USDA’s efforts to relocate and realign ERS and NIFA, October 2018
- Drafted and delivered conservation letter from hundreds of organizations to appropriators, April 2018
- NSAC’s FY 2019 Agriculture Appropriations Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee and House Subcommittee, April 2018