U.S. Agriculture Secretary Unveils 'Stable' Budget for 2013
Agriculture officials say the President’s proposed budget for the USDA next year will be similar to this year’s. Although the overall budget has been cut by $3 billion since 2010, funding for several programs that have helped boost agriculture production and export in Colorado and across the country will likely continue or increase.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the focus of the proposed 2013 budget is on economic growth, including in the agricultural export market, which was a bright spot last year for many states – including Colorado…
“We’ll continue our commitment to exports by fully funding the MAP program, which is extraordinarily important to promotion of agricultural exports,” Vilsack said in a conference call Monday. “Every dollar of MAP generates 35 dollars of trade activity.”
Colorado’s ag exports last year were up 23% over 2010, when they totaled roughly $778 million.
Vilsack says funding will also stay the same or increase for many programs in the 2013 Farm Bill, including food safety and poultry inspections, nutrition assistance programs (including SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and WIC, the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children), fire suppression efforts and expanded timber opportunities.
But with a deeply divided Congress, the President’s proposed budget faces an uncertain future.