The President of Oklahoma’s oldest general farm organization wants federal budget writers to reconsider proposals to cut federal spending on agriculture programs.
“At a time of historic low farm income, we must look for ways to support farmers and ranchers, rather than take away valuable programs,” said Scott Blubaugh, AFR president.
The Tonkawa, Okla., farmer said President Trump’s proposed budget calling for reducing USDA spending will create hardships for agriculture producers.
“Low commodity prices combined with export market restrictions have left producers with uncertainty about their futures,” Blubaugh said. “Many farmers, especially younger producers, are struggling to find the resources to continue growing our food and fiber.”
The 2018 farm bill is welcomed but the financial aid will not arrive until next year.
“That will be too late for many farmers,” Blubaugh said. “The farm bill was a much desired tool, passed in a bipartisan effort to help agriculture. They should be working to build on that success instead of looking for ways to cut farm programs.”
The Oklahoma farmer noted the farm bill is budget-neutral, projected to cost far less over 10 years than the 2014 farm bill, while improving conservation programs, risk management tools and food security.
“We don’t want to go backwards and reduce programs that we vitally need to continue producing a safe, affordable and abundant food supply,” Blubaugh said.