Washington, D.C. (February 16, 2011)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) joined other farm groups and agricultural trade associations in expressing concern with H.R. 1, the continuing resolution for fiscal year 2011.
In a letter sent to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the groups noted that the bill would cut 22.4 percent from agriculture programs and operating budgets for the remainder of the current fiscal year. This is more than double the 10.3 percent cut in overall non-military discretionary spending.
“Those of us in agriculture recognize the pressing importance of addressing the deficit by bringing spending more in line with revenue; you couldn’t run a farm, a ranch or a co-op if you were in the red year after year,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “We in agriculture are willing to do our part, but cuts to agriculture should be in proportion to those in other areas. In addition, every program and area of spending should be on the table to help close budget gap.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.