President Trump's budget leaves the SNAP benefits intact, but cuts WIC by $187 million.
The document, titled America First - A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, includes a 21 per cent decrease in USDA funding.
"States can not tolerate additional cuts". "Given the challenging times in the farm patch ... we need to prioritize and maintain our agriculture budget".
"Continues to support farmer-focused research and extension partnerships at land-grant universities and provides about $350 million for USDA's flagship competitive research program".
A notable cut for Devils Lake, Jamestown, Dickinson and Thief River Falls is the Essential Air Service program, which allows small communities to support airports.
The National Resources Defense Council pointed out that the President's budget eliminates a fund that gives rural governments and nonprofits money to clean up drinking water systems and improve sewage disposal to avoid disasters such as what happened in Flint, Michigan. Rural communities can be served by private sector financing or other Federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the Environmental Protection Agency's State Revolving Funds.
The president's current budget blueprint does not appear to specifically include cuts for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service-the wing that is responsible for the safety of meat, chicken and egg products produced in (and imported into) the U.S. Reports indicate that the president's budget plans do account for continued funding of meat inspections, however, monies for agriculture and food safety research are on the chopping block. It also says it would save $95 million in what it calls duplicative and underperforming programs in the Rural Business and Cooperative Service, which helps with economic development in rural areas.
"When you cut funding in this way, sometimes the effects are slow, and sometimes you hit a cliff", says Johnathan Hladik, policy director at the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs.
"Instead of laying out a real strategy to create jobs and grow the economy across rural America, President Trump has introduced a budget that will do the exact opposite by making some of his deepest cuts to the Department of Agriculture", Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, told FarmWeekNow.com.
West Virginia, which voted overwhelmingly for Trump, discovered his budget proposes eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission, an agency that helps distraught communities in that state get back on their feet.
"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. The programs that would be cut include food safety, rural development and conservation funding, research grants, and global food aid, the Post reported.
These cuts are proposed as the USDA continues to sit without its Secretary.
And even though Trump announced almost two months ago that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is his choice for ag secretary, no confirmation hearing for Perdue has been set.