The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is extremely disappointed that President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request includes a 21 percent cut to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Many of USDA’s voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs are crucial to promoting the wise and responsible use of natural resources in this country.
“Without USDA conservation programs, America’s farmers, ranchers, and communities won’t have the resources or assistance they need to keep our soils healthy, our water clean, and our wildlife abundant,” said NACD President Brent Van Dyke. “We look forward to the president releasing a more thorough budget in the coming weeks and will continue to work with Congress to ensure strong funding.”
The president’s budget calls for “reducing staffing in USDA’s Service Center Agencies” – a cut that would prevent thousands of rural communities across America from accessing services like conservation planning assistance.
“If enacted, the President’s budget would be devastating to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities across America,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “At a time when private capital in the farm economy is scarce, landowners need even greater access to conservation planning assistance.”