More than 70 agricultural groups sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for an increase in the agricultural budget for the 2018 Ag Appropriations Bill that Congress is developing.
The Hagstrom Report quotes the letter as saying the coalition includes groups from the food, agriculture, scientific, academic, veterinary, and consumer sectors. The letter says, “We urge you to substantially increase the discretionary budget cap for domestic programs and provide an allocation for the 2018 appropriations bill of five percent of the total domestic discretionary budget cap increase.” The groups point out that the food and agricultural sectors alone contribute nearly $1 trillion to the nation’s economy every year, or about 5.5 percent of the nation’s GDP. The sector also supports over 22 million American jobs, about 15 percent of overall employment in the U.S. They say more support for the Ag sector is necessary for America to maintain its leadership position in global food production.
The letter also points out that, “Since 2010, the inflation-adjusted agricultural appropriations budget has fallen by 20 percent, while most other allocations have either grown or not faced the same depth of cuts.