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News stories tagged with "farm-bill"

What's out - and what's next - for the farm bill

Yesterday when you woke up, you may not have felt different. But farm country did. The federal farm bill expired because Congress wasn't able to pass a new one by the September 30th deadline.

The farm bill is huge. It funds everything from food stamps to wetlands restoration to school nutrition - in addition to helping to pay for commodities like corn, soybeans, milk, and cheese.

So now that there's no farm bill, it's hard to know what's changed. David Sommerstein joins us to sort through it all.  Go to full article
Birdsfoot Farm in Canton, NY. Photo via
Birdsfoot Farm in Canton, NY. Photo via

Some in Congress look to pass farm bill after delay announcement

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner officially confirmed Thursday that there will be no vote on the 2012 Farm Bill before the November elections. The House agriculture committee passed a bi-partisan farm bill last June. And the Senate approved a farm bill last spring. Boehner told reporters the full House would deal with it after the elections.  Go to full article
I'm very disappointed. I think this is really the worst kind of politics that one could imagine.

NY Farm Bureau concerned about GOP holdup of Farm Bill

U.S. House Republicans have gotten themselves in a tight spot with the 2012 Farm Bill and they can count the New York Farm Bureau among those who are concerned. The Farm Bill is reauthorized about every five years. The Senate has already passed its 2012 Bill. The House Agriculture committee also passed a version of the farm bill. But Republican leaders in the House have not been willing to bring it to the floor.

Instead, they've been pushing for a one-year extension of the current Farm Bill. Julie Grant reports about the latest politicking, and what it might mean for New York farmers.  Go to full article
As a mother, as a lawmaker, watching a child go hungry is something I will not stand for.

Gillibrand fights for food stamps in Farm Bill

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is fighting to stop cuts to the food stamp program. The Senate is currently debating a version of the 2012 Farm Bill that would cut food stamps by $4.5 billion over 10 years. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
The NY Farm Bureau expects more insurance assistance in the Farm Bill.
The NY Farm Bureau expects more insurance assistance in the Farm Bill.

2012 Farm Bill expected to help insure more NY farms

The 2012 Farm Bill passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee last week, much more quickly than insiders had expected. The bill cuts agriculture spending by $23 billion, by getting rid of program that pays some farmers simply for growing commodities, things like corn, wheat, and soy. Instead of sending farmers a direct payment, it will spend more money subsidizing their crop insurance. Some New York farm leaders say the shift will be good for New York farmers. But critics say the crop insurance is just another handout to big corporate farms.
Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

Gillibrand votes no as committee passes farm bill

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee approved the Farm Bill Thursday, by a vote of 16 to 5. The bill is expected to cut agricultural spending by almost $25 billion over the next decade.

It ends direct payments to farmers, and replaces them with federal crop insurance. The farm bill also authorizes federal nutrition programs, such as food stamps. Those programs will see a $4 billion cut over the next decade in the Senate bill.

That's a major reason why New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand voted against the bill yesterday.  Go to full article
Rep. Chellie Pingree of ME and Rep. Bill Owens of NY at the US Farm Bill hearing in Saranac Lake. Photo: Julie Grant
Rep. Chellie Pingree of ME and Rep. Bill Owens of NY at the US Farm Bill hearing in Saranac Lake. Photo: Julie Grant

North Country farmers testify before Congressional committee

Agriculture took center stage in Saranac Lake on Friday as the U.S. House of Representatives held the first of four nationwide hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill at North Country Community College.

Labor issues, marketing, crop insurance and the price of milk dominated the three-hour session, which was held by the House Agriculture Committee. The hearing's aim was to gather input as federal lawmakers prepare to reauthorize the Farm Bill later this year. The last farm bill, in 2008, cost $288 billion.

The committee heard from two panels consisting of dairy, beef and specialty crop producers. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article
Birdsfoot Farm in Canton, NY
Birdsfoot Farm in Canton, NY

Farmers gather in Saranac lake for Farm Bill hearing

About 300 people showed up for Friday's farm bill forum at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake. The US House Agriculture Committee hearing was one of only 4 to be held outside Washington, DC.

The Farm bill is rewritten every four years--the last time the massive set of regulations was authorized was in 2008. The current farm bill expires in September.  Go to full article
I feel really, very, very honored that the committee has selected the 23rd district for this type of event.

Saranac Lake to host 1 of 4 hearings on the U.S. Farm Bill

U.S. Representative Bill Owens says it's a big deal that Saranac Lake was chosen to host a Congressional hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill. Owens says it's a chance for farmers and others to influence re-authorization of federal agriculture policy, which hasn't been done since 2008.

"I feel really, very, very honored that the committee has selected the 23rd district for this type of event. There's only going to be four or so of them around the country. So this is very significant. This is an opportunity for us to talk about the issues that affect the north country."

The Saranac Lake hearing is Friday morning at North Country Community College. The others are scheduled in Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas in the coming weeks.

Owens says there are good reasons for Congress to choose this location for the northeast meeting:

"That was picked because they were trying to get to a location that was part of a large agricultural district, the 23rd. But also because it is the northeast hearing, you're covering really New Jersey, New York, portions of Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. This is a very significant geographic area, and they tried to pick somewhere that was relatively speaking, centrally located."

The hearing will give Members of the House Agriculture Committee the opportunity to hear firsthand how U.S. farm policy is working for farmers and ranchers in advance of writing the Farm Bill.  Go to full article
Tomato pie chart graphic: American Farmland Trust
Tomato pie chart graphic: American Farmland Trust

Farm Bill workshop leads into town hall forum with Congressman

The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization this year in Congress, and North Country residents can have their say about it this weekend. Congressman Bill Owens will be in Potsdam Saturday for a town hall forum on the Farm Bill. It's hosted by the League of Women Voters.

Aviva Gold is director of a non-profit organization called GardenShare. She says agriculture is a big part of the north country economy, but the Farm Bill is such a huge, multifaceted proposal, it can be overwhelming to try to understand it.

That's why GardenShare is hosting an informational workshop on the Farm Bill BEFORE the forum with Representative Owens.

Correction: The audio of this story reports the beginning of the workshop as 9:30 am. The correct start time is 9:00 am. We regret the error. NCPR

Gold spoke with Julie Grant.  Go to full article

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