Administration Releases its Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Priorities

Update from Mark Rokala, Policy Director

The Administration proposed one of the largest-ever cuts to domestic spending in a $4.7 trillion fiscal year 2020 budget proposal.

USDA would be cut 15 percent by limiting the producer subsidy to farmers for crop insurance, limiting crop insurance to farmers with a gross income less than $500,000, capping crop insurance company gains, and significant reform to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Administration also proposes creating new user fees to fund food safety and inspection work, animal welfare, biotech and veterinary biologics work.

What does this proposal mean for programs important to Organic Farmers Association members at USDA?

The budget proposal cuts a number of programs we care about.   We will need to work with our Congressional champions to restore funding for the Organic Produce and Market Data Initiative and the much needed technology update for NOP.

While the Budget Resolution does not carry the force of law, it starts the discussion of funding the federal government.  Once the top-line spending amount is set for 2020, the Appropriations Committee will divide the funds among its subcommittees. That process results in determining funding levels for USDA programs, like the National Organic Program.

Organic Farmers Association has requested the following 2020 Budget Appropriations to support our important organic programs that do not have baseline funding (we have to ask for funding each year):

  • National Organic Program: $18 million
  • Organic Transitions Program (ORG): $8 million
  • Organic Data Initiative: $1 million

We will continue to advocate for adequate organic funding through the budget proposal process.