Iowa Department of Agriculture lays off 2, cuts program funding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Department of Agriculture lays off 2, cuts program funding

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- As a result of Gov. Chet Culver's 10 percent across the board budget cut announced in October, the Iowa Department of Agriculture laid off two employees and cut funding for several programs.

Both of the laid off employees were members of the Iowa United Professionals (IUP) union. They worked in the Animal Industry Bureau and the laboratory in Ankeny responsible for testing dairy, meat and poultry samples.

The Department says it avoided 36 layoffs because of negotiations by the state with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). AFSCME employees will take 5 unpaid furlough days.

The Department's 38 non-contract employees will take 12 days of mandatory leave without pay as part of the budget cuts.

Additional cuts will be made to the following programs.

  • $90,00 from the Iowa Farmers Market Nutrition Program
  • $20,000 from the Farm to School Program
  • $34,000 reduction in reimbursement for expenses to soil district commissioners
  • $25,000 from the Emerald Ash Borer  and Gypsy Moth eradication programs

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the budget cuts mean that the overall budget for fiscal year 2009 will equal the Department's budget for fiscal year 1994. Northey also says department services will likely be affected by the overall workforce reduction and the mandatory furloughs.

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