Budget proposals submitted this week by Gov. Kay Ivey included funding for agricultural education, career technology and other priorities.
The General Fund (GF) proposal included $13.5 million for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, an increase of $679,039 from current fiscal year. The Alabama Forestry Commission would see an increase of $925,000, and the Soil and Water Conservation Committee would receive an additional $350,479. Funding for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for the Concentrated Animal Feed Operation program would be unchanged at $575,000.
In the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget, agribusiness education, including Ag in the Classroom, was level funded at $451,900. The governor’s proposal also would provide an additional $35,000 for the North Alabama Agriplex, $240,000 for Cullman County Agricultural Trade Center roof repair, and $75,000 for the Ag Experience Tracker. The governor proposed an additional $3 million for the Career Tech Initiative and level funding for career tech operations and maintenance. Under the plan, both the Cooperative Extension System and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station would see a 5% increase.
“We appreciate Gov. Ivey investing in the future of agriculture and forestry,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Director of Agricultural Legislation Preston Roberts. “We will work with budget chairs in the House of Representatives and Senate to provide funding for programs important to our members.”