February 9, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (February 9, 2016) – After reviewing the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, which was released earlier today, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“With a lagging farm economy, low commodity prices and weather challenges, policies that provide farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to feed, clothe and fuel the world are essential. And funding those policies should be a top priority for our government.  

“The president’s budget proposal is a good starting point for funding discussions, and NFU looks forward to working with Congress and the administration to ensure investments are made for agriculture and rural America.

“President Obama should be applauded for his proposed investments in agriculture’s future, including $700 million in the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and $106 million for the development of bio-based energy sources. Research not only drives innovation, it ensures a future for our farm and ranch families.

“Additionally, I am pleased by proposed investments in programs that will directly benefit rural America, including: funding for in-home rural care, funding to combat opioid addiction, increased funding for the summer nutrition programs for children, and increased SNAP funding for the elderly. Rural America is the backbone of this country, and programs that support rural communities and the health of their citizens are vital.

“Unfortunately, the budget proposal also cuts crop insurance, the primary tool farmers use to deal with weather and market risk. With three consecutive negative farm income forecasts, we simply cannot afford to undercut the farm safety net. NFU urges Congress to reject these crop insurance cuts, as it has in years past.”

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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