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February 7, 2014

Farm Bill Finally Completed

For more information on Newsline, contact: Cyndie Sirekis, Director, Internal Communications, American Farm Bureau Federation, cyndies@fb.org.

 
Success. That’s the word American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman uses to describe the completion of the 2014 Farm Bill, which President Obama signed Friday in Michigan, after three years of effort. Seanica (Shawn-ick-uh) Otterby (Otter-bee) has the story.
Otterby:With farmers and ranchers planning their operations for the coming year - American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says this success is important because it provides them with some certainty regarding policy.
Stallman:Every year, though, we have to be vigilant as Congress convenes because our budget situation in this country is such that there will always be those looking for ways to reduce funding, and agriculture is always one of those targets. We have the law in place, but we have to be sure that it continues to be funded at the levels that are proposed now through the course of this farm bill.
Otterby:Stallman says renewal of the livestock and specialty crop disaster provisions are one positive aspect of the farm bill.
Stallman:There was also fundamental changes in the way we do our support payments. The direct payments were eliminated. Crop insurance, or risk management programs, were expanded, which we view as very positive as it allows farmers and ranchers to customize their risk management plans for their operations and still have a safety net, but farmers and ranchers have to pay for those premiums too, which makes it sort of a shared safety net with the U.S. government.
Otterby:Now Stallman says the bill just needs to be implemented. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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