Senator Debbie Stabenow visited a local farm to discuss the new edition of the Farm Bill.
Senator Stabenow stressed the differences between this bill and the previous version that did not pass. She noted that this time, they are strengthening crop insurance and making sure there isn't a pay out without a loss. There are plans to build a coalition to support crop insurance and work with conservation compliance groups. There will also be funding to expand farmers markets, help new farmers get started and also vets coming home from overseas go into farming if they so choose. She also noted the bill will ensure 24 billion dollars in deficit reduction, strengthened conservation efforts, and added some additional dollars towards research.
It was noted the next generation of farmers needs some sort of risk management tools, especially since 50% of the cherries produced in the country are produced in this region.
Stabenow pointed out 1 of 4 jobs in the agricultural industry in Michigan. "We know that in our country farmers around the world have the riskest business in the world. And if we're going to have the safest, most affordable food supply, we need to have policies that support them," stated the Senator.
Stabenow is confident in the changes that have been made in the bill. It hits the Senate floor Monday, and the Senator hopes the bill is through the House by the end of June - it must be to the President by the end of September.