Farm Bill Update - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Farm Bill Update

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It's one of the hottest topics in the Ag industry ... the Farm Bill.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin recently traveled to Kansas City for the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention.
Here's an update on how this piece of legislation is progressing in our nation's chambers.

After YEARS of work...there's a sense of hope.
(Bob McCan / National Cattlemen's Beef Association) "I think the legislators kind of have a renewed sense of urgency to get to a farm bill done. Which is encouraging to us because we have been dealing with this and trying to get it done for a couple of years now."
(Roger Johnson / NFU President) "We are in the last stages of the bill making process. That is the good news. The bad news is we have been at this for three years.  I'm pretty optimistic about it. I think we are going to get a bill by the end of the year. And I think it will be a reasonably good bill. "
National Farmers Union President and Former North Dakota Ag Commissioner Roger Johnson says the bill is on it's way to becoming a law... bills have passed both the Senate and the House and are now in conference.
Johnson says one of the biggest challenges has been creating a bill that is both farm and nutrition friendly.
(Roger Johnson / NFU President) "Those who support nutrition program basically say you are cutting money from programs that feed the hungry. From the poorest of the poor, you are deliberately taking food out of their mouths, while at the same time you are beefing up this crop insurance program that's extraordinarily generous, that's the argument."
While nutrition and farming make up a big chunk of the bill, livestock components, such as the livestock indemnity program, are also important---especially after the early Autumn storm that tore through the Dakotas.
(Bob McCan / National Cattlemen's Beef Association) "I think the disaster in South Dakota probably brought that to the forefront for a lot of their legislators. and got it a little bit closer in mind. A bad thing may be what will help get this farm bill going." 
McCan says their team has been lobbying on Capitol hill nearly everyday because livestock protection is a must.

Johnson is hopeful the House and Senate can agree on a bill by the middle of December.

 

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