Land-grant college officials fear their institutions may be among hardest hit if proposed policy is enacted
Agricultural scientists and research administrators, already beset by budget cuts and the effects of political turmoil in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), warn of a much more formidable threat to their support looming on the horizon. Particularly affected, according to these observers, would be land-grant colleges.

The "Contract with America," if enacted by the new, Republican-controlled Congress, would mortally cripple the colleges, say administrators familiar with the document. It calls, they estimate, for cuts of up to $700 million in agricultural research and extension services in a USDA budget of about $1.3 billion. Some reports have total cuts as high as more than $800 million.

"Enacting that contract would have a devastating effect," declares Thomas Fretz, dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Maryland. "We are worried, but until...

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