USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack releases statement on FY2024
By: Sydney Sheffield
President Joe Biden has released the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) budget. The President’s plan calls for increasing corporate taxes and income taxes on higher-income earners (over $400,000) to shave the growth of the national debt over the next decade.
“The President’s budget provides The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the tools needed to serve all Americans by providing effective, innovative science-based public policy leadership at home and around the world. It contains critical investments that will help rural communities provide the fuel, food, and fiber upon which our nation depends and will drive solutions that will lead to more market opportunities for producers,” said USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
FY2024 includes several incentives for American agriculture. The budget supports the goals of the 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to improve health outcomes and reduce diet-related disease by 2030 by providing $32 billion for Child Nutrition Programs that help kids meet their nutritional needs. Additionally, the budget to fully fund the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and children (WIC) programs, as well as the work of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The budget also proposes to allow more States and schools to leverage participation in the Community Eligibility Program to provide free school meals to an additional 9 million children, at a cost of $15 billion over 10 years.
The budget will fund USDA climate-related programs, such as $1.2 billion in continued investments in conservation programs and for work with landowners to improve farm operations and enhance farm environmental sustainability. The budget includes over $5 billion to restore national forests and mitigate wildfire risk, as part of the 10-Year Wildfire Crisis Strategy. Further, the budget increases investments in grants and lending authority to support rural communities in the transition to clean energy and invests in expanding the reach of the USDA Climate Hubs that provide technical assistance to producers to help tackle the climate crisis.
FY2024 will work to improve the United States food system, especially during a year when challenges have occurred. The budget builds on $400 million in investments through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) by investing over $240 million in supporting new supply chains and markets for small and mid-sized farmers. The budget also requests an additional $12 million for the Farm to School Program that assists in making local food and agricultural education available to child nutrition program participants through grants, research, technical assistance, and training.
“USDA will continue to invest in equitable systems and programming, increase landscape resiliency and help rural communities build resistance to the impacts of climate change, create more and better markets for our hardworking producers, bolster access to healthy and affordable nutrition for families, and connect all Americans to economic prosperity. This budget is a clear message of what President Biden values and demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to the success of Rural Americans and their communities.”