White House budget blueprint reveals significant cuts to agriculture

Ag secretary visit-IMG_4490-by Amy Graves_OFBThe U.S Department of Agriculture will see a 21 percent cut in discretionary spending according to the White House’s fiscal 2018 budget blueprint.

The cut to discretionary spending for the USDA includes funding reductions for water programs and Farm Service Agency staffing around the country, as well as cuts to rural development.

Lawmakers from both parties were critical of the planned cuts to farm programs as they believe the cuts show a lack of understanding of the importance of agriculture in America. However, when considering the cuts in context to the overall federal budget, the cuts to agriculture are relatively minor.

Shortly after Sonny Perdue was confirmed as USDA secretary in late April, Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron and Vice President Kendell Culp, along with other major farm groups, met with Perdue in Cincinnati. Perdue announced major changes to the agency’s structure including the establishment of a new USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.

Further details on the federal budget are forthcoming.

Caption: INFB President Randy Kron and Vice President Kendell Culp (front row, third from right, and far right) were among the ag dignitaries that met with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in Ohio shortly after the new secretary was confirmed. Photo by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation