Farm Bill Gets Mixed Reviews - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Farm Bill Gets Mixed Reviews

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A federal farm program brings needed certainty in a farmer's operation.

"The safety net in Agriculture is critically important to farmers in knowing that they have some support from the government to keep farming profitable," says Rick Schmidt.

Congress now has two bills in front of them. The Senate's version which cuts $4 billion dollars from the Food Stamps Program, and the House's which cuts the program out altogether.

"It's unusual, obviously, in that we separated the food stamps portion, but I think it presents exciting opportunities for a more transparent discussion about what all is involved in a farm bill," says Rep. Kevin Cramer.

While Schmidt says it's a good idea to consider the two topics separately, he does have concerns about taking it out of the bill.

"Because we don't have a lot of agriculture support or people that are directly as tied to agriculture as what there was 10,15,20 years ago. I think we need to have people caring about the farm bill," says Schmidt.

Which is also a concern for Senator Heidi Heitkamp, but she says the House's version does have some good aspects.

"Crop insurance provisions are not linked to conservation, and that's something that the House has basically taken a firm position from day one on, and it's been a consistent position. It's something that Senator Hoeven and I have worked very hard on our side in moving it forward," says Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

The version that passed the House isn't final. The bill still needs to go to a conference committee with the Senate, and there will have to be compromises before the bill goes to a final vote.

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