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"Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue warned public university officials today that they shouldn't look to the federal government to cover budget shortfalls created by state cuts. Perdue, in remarks at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' annual meeting in Washington, D.C., this morning, touted the importance of public higher education to agriculture, especially in the area of research, but said states need to take the lead on funding. "If your state legislature moves back from your appropriations — one step, two steps back — don’t expect us to move two steps forward with those type of funds,” Perdue said. "No longer can they depend on the federal government to totally replace those funds that were lost in the [state] appropriations process." States have made huge cuts to funding for higher education over the past decade, spending on average 16 percent less per student in 2017 than they did before recession struck in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. USDA provides regular funding for land-grant universities to encourage research and extension activities, in addition to furnishing schools with grants. Perdue said USDA would continue to partner with universities on funding, "but we are not going to be the senior partner.""

Posted November 14th, 2017