On one medium-sized farm in western Kansas, fourth-generation farmer Derek Sawyer is doing all he can to stay afloat. He has 2,500 acres of land and about 700 cows, but looming on the horizon is a White House budget proposal that would cut $38 billion in subsidies to farmers like him.
President Trump's budget would slash several programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture — including crop insurance — that farmers say have been a lifeline in recent years. About $28 billion is on the chopping block from crop insurance alone.
Sawyer's Land & Cattle grows wheat, corn and soybeans. Sawyer took out his first crop insurance after his grandfather passed away and said he wouldn't be farming right now if it weren't for the protection.
"It's definitely not a program that helps you get rich," Sawyer said. "But crop insurance will come close to helping us cover the expenses of the crop."
The program helps farmers afford the cost of buying insurance for their crops. According to Montana State University economics professor Vincent Smith, crop insurance premiums total about $9.5 billion annually. The federal government currently covers about 60 percent of the cost, or $6 billion. Farmers contribute the rest.