Today’s Topic: Mandatory federal budget cuts could affect N.C. agriculture

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoUnless Congress and the White House reach a last-minute deal, automatic spending cuts for various federal agencies will take effect Friday, and the reductions could have an impact on agriculture in North Carolina.

Commissioner Troxler tells Rhonda that one of the biggest immediate impacts of sequestration would be furloughs of federal meat and poultry inspectors. That means many meat and poultry plants that operate under daily inspection would not be able to.

The NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division operates under an agreement with USDA, and even the state inspectors would be affected by these cuts because of the amount of federal funding involved. It’s unclear whether USDA would furlough non-essential personnel, leaving the meat and poultry inspectors on the job.

There also has been a lot of talk about the number of FDA food safety inspectors who would be temporarily laid off under the spending cuts. The immediate impact from cuts at FDA would not be as great in North Carolina, Troxler says, because the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division does most of the inspections in food manufacturing plants, grocery stores and other facilities. But there could be long-term impacts on federal grants that the department and other states receive for doing certain types of work for federal agencies.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the potential impacts of sequestration on N.C. agriculture.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

Share

One Response to “Today’s Topic: Mandatory federal budget cuts could affect N.C. agriculture”

  1. 1
    Robert Asherbraner:

    I support a balanced approach to end the GOP Sequester. (A little bit of compromise. Cutting alone is not the answer. )

    Congress needs to raise taxes on the Rich 1%, again. They’re about half way there now. (WE need $600 Billion more in revenues. )

    Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., proposes to replace the percentage cuts imposed by a provision of the 2011 debt limit agreement with a package of revenue increases and alternative savings.

    PS: You can pass along to Speaker Boehner that the Sequester was never intended to work — it was intended as punishment to motivate COMPROMISE.