President Bush wants to fully fund USDA's food safety programs, including money to pay for 7,600 meat and poultry inspectors.

According to White House budget documents, Bush also plans to prioritize USDA research to provide new emphasis on biotechnology and developing new agricultural products.

The administration's budget also push the department's research programs to improve protection against emerging exotic plant and animal diseases as well as crop and animal pests.

While the president's budget makes no provisions for specific agricultural disaster assistance programs, it does provide for reserve to
cover unforeseen national emergencies and disasters.

"The President will work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to provide emergency assistance to America's farmers who encounter deteriorating conditions," the documents said.

Bush also proposes to reduce the tax burden on family farms by eliminating the death tax, cutting marginal tax rates, and allowing new
individual retirement accounts (IRAs) specifically tailored for farmers.

To expand overseas business for farmers, the president would strengthen USDA market intelligence capabilities and the department's expertise for resolving technical trade issues with foreign trading partners.

Reuters