Show me the money: Last week, President Joe Biden made it rain with the release of his fiscal 2022 budget – a $6 trillion request to Congress that outlines his spending priorities. That’s a lot of green.
Speaking of green: The proposal includes $27.9 billion in funding for the USDA, a 17% increase from 2021– with much of the focus on climate change:
- $192 million to the Agricultural Research Service for work related to climate change and clean energy projects.
- $40 million to the USDA’s regional climate hubs to help farmers and ranchers make changes for climate initiatives.
So, where’s the rest of the cash headed?
→ Broadband: $700 million toward access to quality broadband to rural residents through the ReConnect program.
→ Nutrition: $6.7 billion for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
→ Research: $4 billion for USDA’s research, education, and outreach programs.
→ Equity: $6 million increase to the USDA Office of Civil Rights and an additional $2 million for outreach and assistance for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers.
Great news is there are no proposed cuts to crop insurance or the Farm Bill.
Count on change: The tentative budget still needs to be approved by Congress, and it’s likely there’ll be some edits.