Issue Position: Standing Up for Wisconsin Farmers - Agriculture Appropriations
The Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget and many other important farm programs. As the senior Democrat on this subcommittee, I have worked to provide sufficient funding for the following:
* Nutrition programs for the poor, such as the food stamps, the Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs, and the emergency food assistance program.
* Food safety programs.
* Conservation programs, such as the Farmland Protection Program, the Wildlife Incentives Program, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, and the Wetlands Reserve Program.
* Important agriculture research programs, including those conducted at the University of Wisconsin system.
* Rural development programs.
In addition to funding these programs, last year I worked to include $15.9 million in the FY03 agriculture appropriations bill to fight and eradicate Chronic Wasting Disease in Wisconsin.
I have also worked to include in the last three budgets a total of $2 million for school breakfast programs in Wisconsin. To date, 158 Wisconsin school buildings have used the funding, making school breakfasts available to 67,000 new students.
As the ranking member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, I'm committed to using my position to ensure that Wisconsin's farmers will get a fair return for all of their hard work, and to ensure that the federal government continues investing in farmers and rural America.