President Donald J. Trump has issued a detailed fiscal year 2018 federal budget proposal, recommending drastic cuts to agricultural and rural related agencies and programs. The proposal would cut Farm Bill programs by nearly $230 billion and slash the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) annual budget by 21 percent.
In response to the proposal, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
“The President’s proposed budget is an assault on the programs and personnel that provide vital services, research, and a safety net to America’s family farmers, rural residents and consumers. It is deeply disappointing that the President would propose such cuts, especially in the midst of a farm crisis that has family farmers and ranchers enduring a drastic, four-year slide in farm prices and a 50 percent drop in net farm income.
“The proposal slashes crop insurance by $29 billion, conservation programs by $6 billion, and SNAP by $191 billion, in addition to $3 billion in cuts to other farm programs. Such cuts would leave farmers, ranchers, and consumers without an effective safety net, and would make passing a new Farm Bill almost certainly impossible.
“The proposal also continues the $4.7 billion cut to USDA that was proposed by the Administration in March. This huge cut to discretionary spending would put rural development, conservation and research programs on the chopping block.
“In addition to cuts to farm and rural programs, the president’s proposal stands to worsen access to healthcare for rural residents. The proposed $800 billion cut to Medicaid would disproportionately impact rural residents who enroll in the program at a higher rate than their urban counterparts.
“NFU calls on Congress to reject these budget cuts and adopt funding levels that ensure the success and vibrancy of farming communities and rural America.”