National Young Farmers Coalition alarmed by Trump’s proposed cuts for agriculture
WASHINGTON — The National Young Farmers Coalition expressed its frustration with President Trump’s budget outline for fiscal year 2019, released Monday morning, which proposes to slash funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by 16 percent.
“After a year spent talking about the needs of farmers and rural communities, President Trump’s budget is dramatically disconnected from that rhetoric, and from the economic headwinds farm families are facing,” said Andrew Bahrenburg, NYFC’s national policy director. “Young farmers are out there defying the odds and fighting to stay afloat, and the president is proposing to pull the rug even further out from under them.”
Bahrenburg noted that the budget proposal would give young farmers fewer tools to improve the viability and resilience of their farms, by completely eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, seeking to privatize technical assistance for farmers and reducing USDA’s workforce overall by nearly 10 percent. While the budget would provide funding for rural communities to improve long-neglected infrastructure and combat the opioid epidemic, the overall impact would leave young farmers with fewer resources and a weakened safety net just as USDA projects net farm incomes to hit their lowest levels since 2006.
“Fortunately, it’s up to congress to pass the budget and the farm bill,” Bahrenburg said. “When members go home to their states and districts every weekend, they see the impacts of our current farm economy. They understand the irreparable loss their communities will face if our aging farm population retires without enough young farmers ready to take their place.”