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NSAC: "SKINNY BUDGET" MISSES THE MARK, IGNORES NEEDS OF RURAL AMERICA
Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition news release

The President's first budget request misses the mark entirely when it comes to the needs of rural America," said Greg Fogel, Policy Director at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). "He is targeting these detrimental cuts right at the people who helped bring him to the White House - America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

"By zeroing out funding for Rural Business Development programs, this budget guts USDA's ability to invest in rural enterprise development. These programs have a proven track record of success - both in terms of business survivability rates and job creation. To call such vital programs 'underperforming' reflects a lack of understanding of their function and impact.

"Moreover, it is extremely shortsighted to target rural water and wastewater management programs, which aim to address one of rural America's biggest infrastructure problems. We are also very concerned with what seems to be a proposal to privatize conservation planning.

"We expect such a proposal to be dead on arrival in Congress, where members of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees have a deep understanding of how conservation planning works. This budget request is, of course, only the first step in the FY 2018 budget and appropriations process.

"As additional details become available, NSAC will work with Congress and our 118 members nationwide to ensure that America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are not hung out to dry."

About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: http://sustainableagriculture.net


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