NFU statement on FY 2015 budget
WASHINGTON — National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued a statement following the announcement of President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget:
“The president has submitted a forward-looking budget that builds on the agricultural economy’s successes while investing in innovative solutions to future challenges.
The president’s proposed Climate Resilience Fund will provide farmers and ranchers with much-needed assistance after extreme weather events, which are occurring with increasing frequency. I hope Congress follows the president’s lead and takes action to comprehensively address global climate change in a way that engages and recognizes the valuable contributions the agricultural community can make to reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture confirmed what farmers and ranchers have known for some time: the average age of farmers continues to rise and mid-sized farms are disappearing. The proposed budget wisely invests in lending for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers to help grow the next generation of agriculture.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s workforce has suffered a 5 percent reduction in recent years after facing mandatory budget cuts due to sequestration and prolonged budget impasses. Given this reality, it will be difficult for farmers, ranchers and rural residents to expect the same level of local services they have enjoyed before. Sec. Vilsack and his team stretch resources as far as they can, but spending cuts have consequences.
I look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration to ensure smart investments that support family farmers, ranchers and rural communities.”