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President Looks to Cut 21% From USDA Budget, Targets County Staffing and Water

Saturday, March 18, 2017/Categories: General News, Today's Top 5, People in Ag, National News

President Looks to Cut 21% From USDA Budget, Targets County Staffing and Water

Agri-Marketing reports: 

President Donald Trump has proposed halting funding for rural clean water initiatives and reducing county-level staff, for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to a White House budget document. 


The $4.7 billion in cuts would leave USDA with a budget of $17.9 billion after cutting some statistical and rural business services and encouraging private sector conservation planning. Farm groups warned that farmers and rural communities could suffer. 

The budget proposal would save $498 million by eliminating a rural water and wastewater loan and grant program that helps fund clean water and sewer systems in communities with fewer than 10,000 people. 

Other areas targeted for cuts include staffing at county-level USDA service centers. 

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the country's largest organization representing farmers, said cuts to statistical services could hurt members. 

"That's a big concern because 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, AFBF director of market intelligence. 

The budget proposal did not give details of which services could be cut. 

Greg Fogel, policy director at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, said cuts to rural development work could harm businesses in rural areas as these programs had created jobs and helped businesses survive. 

 

CLICK HERE to read more

 

Source:  Agri-Marketing

 

Pixabay photo:   CC0 Public Domain

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