President Donald Trump’s budget plan includes a $4.7 billion, or 21 percent budget cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The cuts would leave USDA with a $17.9 billion budget after cutting statistical and rural business services, according to Reuters. But, the budget detail did not give any information on which specific services would be cut. The White House also said it would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, which donates U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. The cuts to USDA are drawing bipartisan opposition. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, says he is concerned the cuts could “hamper some vital work of the department.” He says farmers and ranchers are struggling, and that Congress should “do all we can” to help them. His message to agriculture was that “this is the start of a larger process. It is a proposal, not the budget.” House Agriculture ranking Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota says the President’s budget request “demonstrates a lack of understanding of farm programs and their importance to rural America.” Peterson says: “The good news is this budget will be ignored, as it should be.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.