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News stories tagged with "farm-bill"

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

Farmers say milk pricing is "broken"

Congress is about to begin work on a new bill for America's farms. Dairy farmers are particularly concerned about what will go into the next Farm Bill.

North Country farms hemorrhaged money in 2009 when the price of milk tumbled well below the cost of production. Those that didn't sell their herds are still trying to recover.

Some of the region's dairy farmers brought their concerns to a listening session held by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Herkimer last month. Dave Bullard reports.  Go to full article
New York Farm Bureau president Dean Norton
New York Farm Bureau president Dean Norton

Dairy seeks protection in farm bill

New York agriculture commissioner Darrel Aubertine also held a public session on the farm bill and the state's dairy farms. This one was last Friday at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse.

One of the attendees was Dean Norton. He's president of the New York Farm Bureau, the largest lobbying group for farmers in the state.

Dairy is a $9 billion a year industry, the largest segment of agriculture in New York. But dairy farms were hammered by historically low milk prices in 2009 and 2010. The amount of money farmers were paid for their milk was below the cost of production. Many did not survive.

Norton told David Sommerstein the farm bill needs to fix the volatility in the milk pricing system.  Go to full article

Expert: federal policy shortchanges rural America

The sixth annual North Country Symposium convenes tomorrow at St Lawrence University to consider how to make the region more self-sustaining by "going local." Dr. Chuck Fluharty, founding director of the Rural Policy Research Institute, is the keynote speaker. Dr. Fluharty is a seasoned analyst of the rural factor in public policy. He's been an advisor to most federal departments, as well as state and local governments. He told Martha Foley rural America is getting the short end of the deal, and thats hurting individual as well as community development. (Symposium contact: Ben Dixon 315-229-5664.)  Go to full article

Green Group Reacts to Farm Bill

A group that's frequently critical of the nation's agricultural policies is speaking out against the recently signed 180 billion dollar farm bill. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Chris Lehman reports.
 Go to full article

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