Clements: American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says the President’s proposed budget that included billions of dollars of cuts to agriculture programs sent shockwaves across rural America. However, Duvall notes that Congress will now get to work on amending and adjusting those figures sent by the president.
Duvall: We know that the budget that comes from the president is kind of suggested areas of where they’re interested in looking to making cuts, and we have full confidence in Senator Roberts and Congressman Conaway leading their ag committees in doing the right thing to make sure that rural America and our farmers and ranchers have that good safety net.
Clements: The budget proposal would cut $29 billion from crop insurance. As agriculture is struggling with lower farm income and low commodity prices, Duvall says Senator Pat Roberts and Representative Mike Conaway will work to protect the farm safety net.
Duvall: The two-chairmen said that they’re going to do what’s needed to protect the safety net for farmers and ranchers. And, moving forward in this very difficult economy that we got, this is no-time for us to talk about those severe cuts in our safety net.
Clements: Duvall says AFBF is appreciative of the president’s attempt to reduce the federal deficit, but says farmers and ranchers have already done their part.
Duvall: We salute him for trying to take care of the deficit. But, if you look at the 2014 farm bill, we took a $23 billion cut. If you look at all the other segments of our federal government, no one has taken the responsibility of trying to help with the deficit more than farmers and ranchers across this country. We think we’ve already done our part, and we’re looking for the other areas of federal government to step up and do the same things that we have already done in the past.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Communications Assistant, AFBF