Overview of Department of Agriculture sequester cuts
- $333 million from the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Children, and Infants (WIC). The shortfall would take away vital food assistance and health care services for 600,000 low-income mothers and their children.
- $51 million from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Food safety inspectors would be furloughed for 15 days during which meat and poultry plants would be shut down. The furlough would affect 6,200 meat and poultry plants, costing the industry about $10 billion in production losses and plant workers $400 million in lost wages.
- $46 million from the Rental Assistance Program. More than 10,000 low-income tenants – mostly seniors, women, and Americans with disabilities – living in rural communities will lose their rental assistance.
- $222 million from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This would result in the “curtailing of conservation technical and financial assistance to approximately 11,000 producers and landowner” on “conservation, water quality improvements, wildlife habitat protection, open space protection, as well as natural infrastructure restoration” projects.
- $80 million from the Farm Service Agency. FSA employees would be furloughed for up to 5 days. In addition, sequestration would cut the number of FSA loans made to family farmers and ranchers who can’t obtain loans from commercial banks and lenders. “The sequestration of farm loan funding could result in a loss of over 1,650 private sector jobs…reduce the GDP by more than $259 million, and reduce household income by $44 million,” according to the USDA.
- $134 million from Wildland Fire Management. The Forest Service would have to cut back on hazardous fuel treatments for up to 200,000 acres, thereby increasing the risk of wildfires in many communities.
- $78 million from the National Forest System. The Forest Service would close up to 670 public campgrounds, picnic areas, and trailheads. “Closing this many recreation sites would reduce an estimated 1.6 million recreation visits across the country, thereby harming the economies of rural communities that depend on recreationists’ economic activity,” according to the USDA.
- $8 million from the National Agricultural Statistic Service.
- Department of Agriculture: Letter from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to the Senate Appropriations Committee dated Feb. 5, 2013 (PDF)
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website
- Senate Appropriations Committee: Video of the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the impacts of sequestration on Feb. 14, 2013
- Senate Appropriations Committee: Hearing on the impacts of sequestration on Feb. 14, 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Sequestration will cut food assistance to 600,000 low-income moms & children
- WhatTheFolly.com: Meat and poultry industry will lose billions if sequestration takes effect on March 1st
- WhatTheFolly.com: 5 key facts about sequestration
- WhatTheFolly.com: Analysis: Impact of sequestration on non-defense discretionary spending