Farm Bill FINALLY Headed to President's Desk


The Senate approved the Agricultural Act of 2014 on a vote of 68 to 32 Tuesday afternoon. Since the measure was approved by the House by a strong vote of 251 to 166 last week – the farm bill will now head to the President for his signature. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says Congress has come together to pass a major bipartisan jobs bill that includes major reform and deficit reduction. Stabenow says this bill is a new direction for American agriculture policy. She notes direct payments will finally come to an end and says the bill supports the transition Americans are making to a healthier, more locally based food system. Stabenow says it’s also one of the largest investments in land and water conservation made in years. She says the bill truly touches every American – from the food we eat, to the air we breathe and the water we drink.
 According to a release from Stabenow’s office – the Agricultural Act of 2014 reforms food and agricultural policy by eliminating direct payments and other subsidy programs that pay farmers every year whether they need it or not – providing responsible risk management tools for farmers that support farmers only when there is need instead. This transformation provides the bulk of the Farm Bill’s 23-billion dollars in deficit reduction. The Farm Bill also streamlines and consolidates programs to end duplication and make programs more efficient – allowing for the strengthening of key initiatives that help farmers and small businesses reach new markets and create American jobs. The bill makes historic investments in conservation, bioenergy production, research, local and healthy food initiatives, organics and maintains critical food assistance for families in need.
All Senators from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana recorded Yes votes on the farm bill.