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Greg Martin Farm Bill, Farm Bill, Farm Bill
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 19, 2012

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Farm Bill, Farm Bill, Farm Bill. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

You cannot open a paper of scan the internet these days without hearing something about the Food, Farms and Jobs Act more commonly known as the farm bill. Even though the part of the bill that deals with agriculture is minute due to the drought and other negative issues beyond our control there is a great need for some of the programs the bill offers for ag producers. Washington Congressman Doc Hastings has said it’s not the farm part that is the holdup.

HASTINGS: Keep in mind what is holding up the farm bill is not the farm part of the farm bill. 80% of the farm bill is not farm related and so it’s other issues that are involved. I congratulate both the House and the Senate on a bi-partisan basis for trying to push this.

And pushing it has taken top priority for most ag groups and including Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack.

VILSACK: We are deeply concerned about the failure of Congress to pass a farm bill.

He says there is a lot of uncertainty among farmers.

VILSACK: It will make it somewhat difficult for producers to plan for next year and to convince their banker to provide the assistance and help to put a crop in the ground.

Last week there was a large rally on Capital Hill called “Farm Bill Now” and a lot of farm organizations showed up to lend their support. Bob Stallman with the American Farm Bureau Federation addressed the rally.

STALLMAN: We gather here under a banner adorned with three words. FARM. BILL. NOW. We are here to raise our voices toward Capitol Hill for a shared purpose. Perhaps never in the history of farm legislation have so many diverse farmer and rancher voices joined together for such a common call for action on a farm bill.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) spoke to the crowd about the Senate and House Agriculture Committee-passed bills that include disaster assistance and are awaiting congressional agreement.

STABENOW: We have in the Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill that includes disaster assistance fully paid for within the savings in our bill. The House Agriculture Committee in a bipartisan way also passed a bill out of committee and included disaster assistance within their bill. We did disaster assistance, we paid for disaster assistance and we gave farmers long-term certainty by a five-year farm bill.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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