By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network
During his report on the Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain said he’s been told the budget for his department will be slashed another $1.1 million over and above any and all cuts made prior to March 31st. Strain says his office and the other state offices are now working on what’s called a “stand alone budget” where no new revenues are coming in.
The commissioner had breakfast Thursday with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in Washington, discussing a number of issues critical to Louisiana agriculture including the new farm bill, crop insurance and trade. The White House has now started the 90 day comment period on re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Strain also reports he met later in the day with senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and thanked them for extending the deadline for implementing the new Worker Protection rule until all the necessary guidance and training period has been completed.
Next it was off to the Mexican Embassy in Washington to talk about sugar and sugar issues and the Tri-National Trade Accords between the US, Mexico and Canada, “where we’ll be discussing not only sugar but also dairy issues, wheat issues and the re-negotiation of NAFTA which is more than twenty years old. So all trade issues are now front and center.”