Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge says the agency she heads cannot absorb the one-and-a-half million dollar cut republican legislators and democrat Governor Tom Vilsack propose. Judge, who’s a democrat, runs the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and she’s not pleased with the nearly nine percent budget cut her democrat Governor and G-O-P lawmakers suggest for the coming year. Judge says she’s very dismayed lawmakers don’t have an understanding of the importance of the work of the Department of Agriculture. Judge says it’s an abandonment of Iowa’s largest industry. She says it’s time for farmers to step forward and say they’re important. Judge says a one-point-five million dollar cut is “not doable.”Judge says if she shuts down all ag marketing and promotion projects, and shuts down the agency’s reporting of grain and livestock prices, that still wouldn’t amount to one-and-a-half million. Judge says she’ll refuse to close any programs, like meat and feed inspections, which protect health and safety. The agency’s operating on a 17-million dollar budget this year, with over 400 employees.
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