Not since the Great Depression have Americans been so concerned about food security in this country. At the same time, demand for more and better food to feed the hungry around the world is exploding.

U.S. agriculture, and especially agriculture in the Southeast, is prepared to ramp up production to meet the demand. Exports are at an all-time high.

Yet, devastating funding cuts from state legislatures across the nation over the past two years have threatened our ability to develop better crops, advance food safety and improve packaging and shipping technology.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee released proposed cuts to agriculture that, if passed, will endanger the U.S. food system.

Nothing is more important to Americans than keeping a roof over their heads and food on their dinner tables. In the proposed Continuing Resolution that will determine budgets for the remainder of the 2011 calendar year, Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are asked to shoulder 55 percent of the total federal budget cuts.

Evenly shared cuts

The burgeoning federal deficit must be brought under control. Few Americans disagree. Getting the deficit under control means all departments of the federal government must tighten up. However, necessary cuts should be shared equally among all areas of federal government and ensure the least amount of damage to the American way of life.