U.S. Department of Agriculture
- 2010 Budget: $25,661 million
- Enacted 2009: $24,108 million
The President’s Fiscal Year 2010 Budget provides $25.7 billion for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To benefit rural Americans, the budget targets aid to family farmers -- rather than corporate megafarms -- and supports rural initiatives with goals that include the expansion of broadband services, development of leadership in the field of renewable energy, and expansion of education and research efforts. The budget reflects President Obama's commitment to forest restoration and wildfire control, the protection of new lands, and investments in conservation efforts in concert with landowners. Provisions to support a strong Childhood Nutrition and WIC reauthorization package demonstrate the President’s intent to end childhood hunger by 2015. Food safety priorities also are apparent in the budget resources for food inspection and assessment.
RURAL AND FARM ECONOMIC GROWTH
- Supports rural economic development. To spur the development of small business and value-added agriculture in rural America, the President’s budget provides$61 million for five Rural Development programs: the rural microentrepreneur assistance program, rural cooperative development grants, value-added producer grants, grants to minority producers, and cooperative research agreements.
- Develops and strengthens rural broadband and telecommunications services. The budget provides $1.3 billion in loans and grants to increase broadband capacity and improve telecommunication service.
- Promotes rural America’s leadership in developing renewable energy. The President has been a strong proponent for increasing the national supply of home-grown American renewable fuels. The budget includes an additional $250 million in loans and grants to increase the national supply of home-grown renewable fuels.
- Supports rural revitalization, education, and land grant programs. The budget includes a $70 million increase for competitive research grants that provide incentives for teachers to pursue professional development, and to enhance existing rural research and extension programs at land grant and minority-serving institutions.
OUR NATION’S NATURAL RESOURCES
- Protects the nation’s forests. The President is committed to protecting and restoring our national forests. The budget provides a $68 million increase for national forest operations to protect natural resources and maintain facilities and infrastructure.
- Responsibly budgets for wildfires. The budget fully funds the 10-year average suppression costs including a $282 million discretionary funding contingent reserve when the $1.1 billion appropriated 10-year average is exhausted.
- Conserves new lands. The budget includes $120 million in Forest Service funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund including a $34 million increase to acquire easements on forested lands under significant development pressures.
- Supports conservation. The Administration funds several vital conservation programs including the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Conservation Reserve Program, and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
FOOD SAFETY AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE
- Strengthens nutrition assistance. A $1 billion annual increase is provided for Child Nutrition reforms aimed at improving access, enhancing nutritional quality of school meals, expanding nutrition research and evaluation, promoting strong wellness and physical activity policies, and improving program oversight. These proposals in combination work toward fulfilling the President’s pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015.
- Responds to the needs of low-income Americans. The budget supports the temporary increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and additional resources for food banks and community-based food providers, as provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The budget also funds an innovative pilot initiative to increase SNAP participation among low-income seniors and fully funds the WIC program by providing enough resources to serve 9.8 million participants and sets aside money for a robust contingency fund.
- Enhances food safety. Funds improvements in measures that ensure meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled and packaged. Provides resources to improve food safety inspection and assessment and our ability to determine food safety risks.