Oklahoma farmers are willing to take some federal cuts

In Washington, the president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau says farmers are willing to do their part as Congress tries to slash federal spending but doesn't want to bear an unfair share.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 27, 2012

Farmers are willing to give up a federal program that paid out more than $81 million in Oklahoma in 2010, but they want an enhanced crop insurance system to protect against catastrophic losses, the president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau said here Monday.

Mike Spradling said in an interview that farmers are willing to do their part as lawmakers work to cut federal spending.

“But we can't afford to do more than our part,'' Spradling said.

Spradling and other members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau were in Washington as the U.S. House prepared to take up a budget that would slash $30 billion over 10 years from farm-related programs.

$23B to be cut

Farm-state leaders, including Rep. Frank Lucas, the Oklahoma Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, developed a budget plan last year that would cut $23 billion over 10 years, but the House GOP plan would cut well beyond that.

“Compared to an overall economy that is recovering slowly, the American agricultural sector is improving dramatically,” the Republican budget says.

“The record-breaking prosperity of American farmers and farm communities is to be celebrated. But it also calls for a re-examination of federal agricultural programs that spend billions each year. Taxpayers should not finance payments for a business sector that is more than capable of thriving on its own.”

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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Compared to an overall economy that is recovering slowly, the American agricultural sector is improving dramatically.''

The Republican budget

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