Monday, Apr 30 2012 5:20PM
Many witnesses defended the Rural Development programs during the first Farm Bill subcommittee hearing of the House Agriculture Committee in Washington, D.C., Agri-Pulse Communications reports.
Many witnesses defended Rural Development programs during the first Farm Bill subcommittee hearing of the House Agriculture Committee in Washington, D.C., Agri-Pulse Communications reports.
Many groups noted that the proposed budget calls for some program cuts, and agreed that consolidating some rural programs made financial sense. However, they added that current investments are providing crucial support to rural economies.
"We're going to have to make some cuts, none of which are going to be painless," Rural Development subcommittee chairman Tim Johnson said during the first of eight hearings. "We're not going to balance the budget unless we all recognize that every single component of what the federal government does is going to have to be examined."
Other representatives say that the term rural needs to be clearly defined to better serve communities in need. If the definition followed a population cap of 50,000 people, many small rural communities would have difficulty competing for infrastructure grants and other funding.
Additionally, Chuck Conner, President of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, called for simplified requirements for grants. Others called for application requirements to be broadened to account for the impact of local organizations and current funding situations.
For further information, check out this source: Agri-Pulse Communications