Pushing a Farm Bill, E. Coli Found & Urban Agriculture

Pushing a Farm Bill, E. Coli Found & Urban Agriculture

Pushing a Farm Bill, E. Coli Found & Urban Agriculture plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack believes Congress can approve a new farm bill before the current law expires in September. He says it’s clear the Senate Ag Committee plans to begin to mark up its version of the legislation this month. The fourth and final House Ag Committee field hearing on a new farm bill will be held tomorrow in Dodge City, Kansas and Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp is optimistic about the bill.

HUELSKAMP: But it is a tough, short time-line especially given this is an urban Congress. Everybody recognizes that especially those of us in agriculture and it is always a struggle to pass a farm bill and it will be even more difficult this year as we move forward.

Oregon health officials have confirmed the presence of E. coli from a Clackamas County farm that distributed raw milk. A total of five people, ages 1 to 14, have confirmed cases of E.coli and all drank raw milk from Foundation Farm. Anyone who may have raw milk from the farm should not drink it and should dispose of the milk.

And in Boise the city council has voted unanimously in favor of taking another step toward an urban agriculture ordinance. They would like to see more urban farming around town and have been gathering feedback. If passed, the changes could mean you can have six chickens instead of three. There are proposed changes to bee keeping as well as rules about how to sell the produce grown locally.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

It’s a common belief that all farmers are rich beyond their wildest dreams and are just sitting on piles of money accumulated from each year’s successful cash crop. Even many members of Congress seem to have fallen for this hook, line, and sinker. That’s why they’re so ready to cut federal ag spending, be it for research, crop insurance, or direct payments. Just last week the Government Accountability Office cited “record on farm income” in releasing a report where it proposed cutting $1 billion from the federal crop insurance program by capping the government paid producer insurance premium subsidy at $40 thousand a year. Farmers and ranchers are used to being taken for granted, but they shouldn’t have to be. In reality, there are good times and there are bad. We can all relate to that, whether we’re farmers or not. It’s just a fact of life. To craft a federal budget or Farm Bill on the pretext that the ag sector will continue to do as well as it is right now is unrealistic and just plain foolhardy. Farmers and ranchers are quite aware of this. Now how do they get that message across to the people who hold their economic future in the palms of their hands?

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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