WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement today:
“The Biden-Harris Administration today submitted to Congress the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2022. As the Administration continues to make progress defeating the pandemic and getting our economy back on track, the budget makes historic investments that will help the country build back better and lay the foundation for shared growth and prosperity for decades to come.
“The President’s budget gives USDA a new set of tools to address the urgent challenges of our time—racial injustice, a changing climate, and hunger. When we invest fairly and equitably in American families and communities, we lay the foundation for decades of American prosperity.
“The budget includes the two historic plans the President has already put forward—the Americans Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan—and reinvests in education, research, public health, and other foundations of our country’s strength. At the Department of Agriculture, the budget would:
- Expand Broadband Access. $700 million is being requested for Reconnect to provide access to quality broadband to rural residents and address challenges for Tribal communities. High-speed internet would serve as an economic equalizer for rural America while creating high-paying union jobs in rural America. This investment also builds on the $100 billion of funding proposed in the American Jobs Plan.
- Supports a Strong Nutrition Safety Net. Women, infants, and children have better health outcomes when healthy, nutritious food is on their table. This budget requests $6.7 billion for the for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to help vulnerable families, address racial disparities, and combat rising food insecurity.
- Combat the Climate Crisis and Conserve Our Nation’s Lands. The budget increases funding for climate smart agriculture, climate resilience and clean energy by nearly $1.5 billion. This funding supports effective land management decisions and partnerships with local communities and Tribal Nations to address climate adaptation, conservation, and ecological resilience. This work will address the underlying conditions of drought that are leading to longer, hotter fire seasons.
- Invests in Critical Research and Development Capacity for Farmers. American farmers must be able to compete in world markets to thrive, all while protecting the health of America’s soil and water. This request provides $4 billion for USDA’s research, education, and outreach programs focused on making investments in agricultural research to put science and data-driven tools and American technologies in the hands of farmers. We need to equip America’s farmers to out-compete the world.
“Enacting the budget policies into law this year would strengthen our nation’s economy and lay the foundation for shared prosperity, while also improving our nation’s long-term fiscal health.”
For more information on the President’s FY 2022 Budget, please visit: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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