In this file:

 

·         Trump budget proposes $4.7B in cuts to USDA

… His proposed budget slashes USDA funding by 21 percent, to $17.9 billion…

 

·         Trump budget plan cuts USDA food, rural water funding

… The White House also said it would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, which provides donations of U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. The program, which had $182 million earmarked in the fiscal-year 2017 USDA budget…

 

·         10 Ways Trump's Budget Would Affect USDA

 

·         AFBF: Farmers, Ranchers Ask Congress to Strengthen Safety Net

The American Farm Bureau Federation and 11 other farm and ranch groups today asked congressional budget and appropriations committees to increase funding for farm programs in the 2018 farm bill…

 

·         NFU: President’s Budget Shuns Rural America with Deep Cuts to Agriculture, Programs Serving Rural America

“To this point, the president has put the needs of rural America and agriculture on the backburner, and, in many cases, on the chopping block. We call on Congress to reject these budget cuts and adopt funding levels that ensure the success and vibrancy of farming communities and rural America.”

 

·         NACD EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT IN PRESIDENT TRUMP'S BUDGET

 

·         What Trump cut in his budget
… To pay for an increase in defense spending, a down payment on the border wall and school voucher programs, among other things, funding was cut from the discretionary budgets of other executive departments and agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the Agriculture Department took the hardest hits. The proposal also eliminates funding for these 19 agencies…

 

·         Federal Layoffs Loom As Trump’s Meat-Ax Targets EPA And IRS

… If his budget gets Congressional approval, the spending reductions would result in thousands of layoffs, according to members of Congress and the unions that represent the Federal workforce…

 

·         Immigrants are now canceling their food stamps for fear that Trump will deport them

 

 

 

Trump budget proposes $4.7B in cuts to USDA

 

BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY, THE HILL

03/16/17

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is facing a $4.7 billion budget cut under President Trump's federal spending blueprint.

 

His proposed budget slashes USDA funding by 21 percent, to $17.9 billion.

 

The programs targeted for cuts are in the "discretionary" spending category. That includes food safety, rural development and conservation funding and international food aid, The Washington Post reported.

 

The Trump budget does not cut programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

 

"The Budget request supports core Departmental and mission critical activities while streamlining, reducing, or eliminating duplicative, redundant, or lower priority programs where the Federal role competes with the private sector or other levels of government," the president's budget says.

 

The budget "reduces duplicative and underperforming programs by eliminating discretionary activities of the Rural Business and Cooperative Services, a savings of $95 million," it adds.

 

It also says the National Forest System will face cuts, with the budget instead focusing on "maintaining existing forests and grasslands."

 

The president's first federal budget blueprint dramatically reduces the size of government…

 

more

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/324243-trump-budget-proposes-47-billion-in-cuts-to-usda

 

 

Trump budget plan cuts USDA food, rural water funding

 

By P.J. Huffstutter and Jo Winterbottom, Reuters

Mar 16, 2017

 

CHICAGO | President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating an international food aid program, halting funding for clean water initiative in rural areas and reducing county-level staff for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Agriculture Department, according to a White House budget document.

 

The proposal would save $498 million by eliminating a rural water and wastewater loan and grant program, which the White House proposal said was duplicative. The program helps fund clean water and sewer systems in communities with less than 10,000 people.

 

Other USDA areas targeted for cuts to reach the White House's $17.9 billion discretionary spending budget include its statistical capabilities and staffing at its county-level service centers.

 

The White House also said it would eliminate the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, which provides donations of U.S. agricultural commodities to food-deficit countries. The program, which had $182 million earmarked in the fiscal-year 2017 USDA budget, "lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity," the document said.

 

The plans for spending at the USDA were released as part of Trump’s budget blueprint, a broad outline of spending proposals for the fiscal year ahead.

 

The blueprint does not cover "mandatory" spending established by law, like farm subsidies, but only addresses "discretionary" programs where lawmakers can adjust spending from year to year.

 

The Trump White House has said it plans to release a traditional full budget with a 10-year outlook for all government spending and revenues in mid-May.

 

The budget plan calls for $6.2 billion in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). That would be about $150 million less than the estimated $6.35 billion the USDA said was budgeted in fiscal 2016. Under former Democratic President Barack Obama, the program was reduced by $273 million between fiscal 2015 and 2016...

 

more

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-budget-agriculture-idUSKBN16N0CS

 

 

10 Ways Trump's Budget Would Affect USDA

 

By Ben Potter, AgWeb.com, Social Media and Innovation Editor

March 16, 2017

 

President Trump’s newly released 2018 budget proposal requests $17.9 billion for USDA. This represents a 21% decrease from 2017.

 

The 2018 budget proposal outlines 10 USDA changes of note in particular, which include:

 

1.    The Food Safety and Inspection service would be fully funded. This group employs more than 8,000 personnel invested in protecting public health by inspecting approximately 6,400 slaughter and processing establishments nationwide.

2.    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) would receive $6.2 billion. This is approximately $400-500 million lower than assistance in 2015 and 2016.

3.    Wildland fire preparedness and suppression activities will be fully funded at $2.4 billion, which is 100% of the 10-year average for suppression operations.

4.    Funding for “lower priority activities” in the National Forest System, including Federal land acquisition, would receive less funding. The budget will instead focus on maintaining existing forests and grasslands.

5.    Farmer-focused research and Extension partnerships at land-grant universities wpi;d receive continued support. That includes $350 million for USDA’s flagship competitive research program. In-house research funding within the USDA Agricultural Research Service will focus on increasing farmer productivity, sustaining natural resources and addressing food safety/nutrition priorities.

6.    Funding for USDA’s statistical capabilities will be reduced, but core departmental analytical functions would be maintained...

 

7…

 

more

http://www.agweb.com/article/10-ways-trumps-budget-would-affect-usda-naa-ben-potter/

 

 

AFBF: Farmers, Ranchers Ask Congress to Strengthen Safety Net

 

BY American Farm Bureau Federation

via KTIC (NE) - March 15, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2017 – The American Farm Bureau Federation and 11 other farm and ranch groups today asked congressional budget and appropriations committees to increase funding for farm programs in the 2018 farm bill.

 

The coalition underlined in a letter the need for a strong farm safety net in the face of financial hardship not seen for decades.

 

“While we do not yet have a full-fledged financial crisis in rural America, a good many farmers and ranchers are not going to be able to cash-flow in 2017,” the groups wrote. “With USDA projecting continued low prices in 2018 and beyond, this situation threatens to quickly and vastly expand with each and every crop year.”

 

The advocates also applauded the House Agriculture Committee for drawing attention to the severe economic downturn facing rural America. Net farm income has dropped 50 percent in the last four years—the largest four-year percentage decrease since the Great Depression.

 

With no relief in sight, many farmers and ranchers are burning through capital reserves, and beginning farmers may be forced out of business altogether without reserves from good years to carry them through. Banks and other community lenders are finding their hands are tied as well. Without a strong safety net, farmers are unable to secure the loans they need to help with operating costs to keep their businesses running.

 

Farmers also face the challenges of a strong American dollar as other countries heavily subsidize and protect their producers...

 

more

http://kticradio.com/agricultural/farmers-ranchers-ask-congress-to-strengthen-safety-net/

 

 

NFU: President’s Budget Shuns Rural America with Deep Cuts to Agriculture, Programs Serving Rural America

 

Source: National Farmers Union (NFU)

Mar 16, 2017

 

WASHINGTON – President Donald J. Trump issued his fiscal year 2018 federal budget blueprint today, calling for a drastic reduction in spending on agriculture and rural related agencies and programs. Lamenting further cuts being proposed for agriculture, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

 

“Family farmers and ranchers are currently enduring the worst farm economy in well over a decade and an inadequate safety net that is hamstrung by $23 billion in budget cuts. The last thing our members need right now is more cuts to agencies and programs that provide incredibly important work, especially in the midst of the current farm crisis. These cuts and the message they send to rural America are deeply disappointing.

 

“President Trump’s budget blueprint calls for a $4.7 billion cut to USDA, which equates to a 21 percent drop for programs that serve rural and farming communities across the U.S. This huge cut to discretionary spending will put rural development, food safety, conservation and research programs on the chopping block.

 

“The proposal recommends eliminating the Senior Community Service Employment Program that provides job training for older unemployed Americans. This program serves older Americans across the country, but is critical at addressing the challenges faced by older people in rural America.

 

“The President’s blueprint also provides for a $2.6 billion cut to EPA funding. This 31 percent drop guts the agency’s ability to provide very important environmental services and pesticide approval. It even limits the administration’s ability to rewrite or remove the unnecessary regulations that the President promised to address. Regulatory relief comes from having a system that works.

 

“To this point, the president has put the needs of rural America and agriculture on the backburner, and, in many cases, on the chopping block. We call on Congress to reject these budget cuts and adopt funding levels that ensure the success and vibrancy of farming communities and rural America.”

 

###

 

An audio file of Roger Johnson’s statement will be available shortly at nfu.org/audio.

 

About NFU

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.

 

nfu.org

 

 

NACD EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT IN PRESIDENT TRUMP'S BUDGET

 

Source: National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)

Mar 16, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 – 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."

 

###

 

The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation's 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.

 

 

What Trump cut in his budget

Read related: Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor

 

By Kim Soffen and Denise Lu, The Washington Post

March 16, 2017

 

On Thursday, the Trump administration released a preliminary 2018 budget proposal, which details many of the changes the president wants to make to the federal government’s spending. The proposal covers only discretionary, not mandatory, spending.

 

To pay for an increase in defense spending, a down payment on the border wall and school voucher programs, among other things, funding was cut from the discretionary budgets of other executive departments and agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the Agriculture Department took the hardest hits. The proposal also eliminates funding for these 19 agencies.

 

Discretionary spending limits, addressed by this proposal, are set by congressional budget resolutions. Congress typically makes changes to the president’s proposal — last year, lawmakers disregarded Obama’s budget altogether. Mandatory spending, by contrast, is set by other laws and is often determined by the size of the benefit and the eligible population.

 

See how each agency’s discretionary funding would be affected by Trump’s proposal, in detail, below:

 

much more

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/trump-presidential-budget-2018-proposal/

 

 

Federal Layoffs Loom As Trump’s Meat-Ax Targets EPA And IRS

 

Bob Hennelly, The National Memo

March 15, 2017

 

Reprinted with permission from The Chief on The National Memo.

 

The draft of President Trump’s first Executive Budget indicates he will make double-digit funding cuts to dozens of non-military agencies as diverse as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. State Department.

 

If his budget gets Congressional approval, the spending reductions would result in thousands of layoffs, according to members of Congress and the unions that represent the Federal workforce.

 

The Federal fiscal year starts in October, and critics of the proposed cuts are hoping that they can limit their scope in the Senate, where the GOP has only a four-seat advantage and members may be concerned about next year’s elections and falling into line behind a scorched-earth agenda that was not a key component in Trump’s upset victory.

 

On the table is a proposed 24-percent cutback at the EPA, which would downsize its headcount of 15,000 by 20 percent; a 37-percent rollback for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a 14-percent cut to the IRS.

 

The Trump cuts also zero in on agencies that are part of the core of the Department of Homeland Security, including a 14-percent slash to the Coast Guard and 11-percent reductions to both the Transportation Security Administration and FEMA, according to the New York Times. The savings resulting from these cuts would allow increases in headcounts for border and immigration enforcement and for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico that Mr. Trump made a central campaign pledge...

 

more

http://www.nationalmemo.com/federal-layoffs-loom/

 

 

Immigrants are now canceling their food stamps for fear that Trump will deport them

 

By Caitlin Dewey, The Washington Post

March 16, 2017

 

Luisa Fortin sometimes sits up at night, wondering what her clients are eating. She is the SNAP Outreach Coordinator for the Chattanooga Food Bank — but lately she has done less outreaching.

 

Her families, working immigrants in northwest Georgia, are spooked by the political climate, Fortin said. Increasingly, she’s being asked to explain how food stamps may impact immigration status, if not to outright cancel family food benefits.

 

Since mid-January, five of Fortin’s families have withdrawn from the SNAP program. One, the single mother of three citizen daughters, had fled to Georgia to escape an abusive husband. Another, two green-card holders with four young children, were thinking of taking on third jobs to compensate for the lost benefits. These families represent a small fraction of Fortin's caseload — she estimates she has signed 200 immigrant families up for SNAP over the past six months — but based on the calls she gets from other clients, she fears more cancellations are imminent.

 

“I get calls from concerned parents all the time: ‘should I take my kids out of the program?’” Fortin said. “They’re risking hunger out of fear … and my heart just breaks for them.”

 

Chattanooga is not an outlier here, either.

 

In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noted a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP — and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.

 

Their fear, advocates say, is that participation could draw the eye of Immigration and Customs Enforcement or hurt their chances of attaining citizenship. Without federal nutrition benefits, many are resorting to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed themselves and their children.

 

The evidence is still anecdotal — and The Washington Post was unable to speak directly with immigrants who chose to cancel their SNAP benefits...

 

more

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/16/immigrants-are-now-canceling-their-food-stamps-for-fear-that-trump-will-deport-them/