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Posts Tagged ‘Federal Budget’

Federal Budget Debate

October is a very busy month for farmers. This year, it is also very busy for the lawmakers and lobbyists who are working out how much the federal government will spend on agricultural programs. We understand and support the idea that the government must not spend beyond its means, and that agricultural spending must be cut in line with everything else to balance the budget. But we would like to defend a small part (3%) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget that many people don’t understand: the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Most people know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supposed to prevent people from harming the environment. But while the EPA is telling everybody what they are doing wrong, the NRCS is actively helping farmers do things right. The NRCS provides expert consulting and funding for farm projects that benefit the environment. This may sound self-serving coming from a farmer who has directly benefited from NRCS funding, but the carrot-and-stick system really works.

Last week, a group of conservation organizations sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that says it all.

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