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Michigan Farmer's Union labels federal appropriations bill as "unacceptable"

Loren King

The Michigan Farmer’s Union is calling the latest federal agriculture budget proposal “detrimental to rural communities.”

The bill passed out of the House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration subcommittee calls for $32 billion worth of reductions to the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also known as SNAP, and an end to climate change research.

Lawmakers on the committee say the cuts are coming because fewer people have been signing up for the SNAP program. They say the cuts merely put an end to the pandemic-era assistance.

Bob Thompson is President of the Michigan Farmer’s Union. He says there’s a misunderstanding of how much this program is used in rural places.

"These benefits are utilized by economically challenged people in the rural and farm communities in almost the same percentage as it is in the inner city," said Thompson on a call with WCMU.

Republican Congressman John Moolenaar, Michigan’s only member on the House Appropriations Committee, didn't respond to our request for comment.

Thompson said eliminating agriculture-focused research into climate change hurts farmers. Thompson says his members are dealing with more extreme and sporadic weather events.

"Some can argue you've always had that. But it seems to be accelerating. And it seems to be doing that later in the season. And the potential is there for the disaster, if you will," said Thompson.

Rick Brewer
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