Agriculture and forestry would benefit from increased funding under a General Fund (GF) budget approved last week by the Alabama Legislature. According to the Alabama Farmers Federation, the package, funded at almost $2.4 billion, awaits action by Gov. Kay Ivey, who could sign or veto the bill, or add executive amendments.
The Legislature is set to reconvene next Monday, May 18, to address any changes from the governor before adjourning the 2020 regular session.
Under the plan, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries would receive almost $15 million, including new appropriations for the North Alabama Agriplex, $100,000; Industrial Hemp Program, $130,000; Sweet Grown Alabama state agricultural brand, $250,000; and Farm to School, $120,000. Funding for the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program would increase $650,000 to $4 million.
Funding for the Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFO) program at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management holds at $575,000. The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) would receive an additional $1.6 million for a total of almost $10.4 million. AFC appropriations include $200,000 for the Forest Worker Institute and $1.7 million for rural and community fire protection.
The Soil and Water Conservation Committee would receive $2.9 million, including more than $81,000 in matching funds for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program to increase on-farm irrigation, and more than $350,000 in matching funds for the Feral Swine Program.
Click here to learn more about the Alabama State budget.