Senate vote the wrong move for rural America

Friday, November 11, 2005

National Farmers Union expressed disappointment today, following the Senate's approval of a $36 billion budget reconciliation package which includes dramatic cuts to major farm programs. NFU said the cuts place a further burden on America's family farmers and ranchers.

"Producers across the countryside are encountering increased input costs due to sky-rocketing energy prices, and the price they receive at the marketplace is declining," NFU President Dave Frederickson said. "Now is not the time for Congress to cut spending on the backs of America's hard-working producers and rural communities."

Farm spending makes up less than one percent of the federal budget, yet farmers and ranchers are required to take more than nine percent of all federal spending reductions. NFU maintains that this places a disproportionate burden on America's producers.

The Senate's proposed cuts come in the same week it passed legislation delaying mandatory country-of-origin labeling until 2008. Mandatory COOL was adopted by Congress in 2002, but its implementation for everything but seafood has been repeatedly delayed.

"These are two very disappointing pieces of legislation in one week; rural America has been dealt a two-fold blow by the Senate's actions," Frederickson added.

-- National Farmers Union