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Maura Bennett Farm Bill Update
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: October 08, 2018

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House Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway says the Farm Bill talks are moving forward though still not close to a final vote. After the Farmbill expired at the end of September the Chairman’s statement questioned the Senate’s willingness to get a bill passed.

Conaway had a short meeting with House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts. The 4 emerged with linked arms.

“ I thought we had a great meeting. Obviously they had seen my statement and knew about it. It was not discussed in the meeting. We agreed that we’ve got 3 titles that are getting really close and if we can get those closed out and show the world that we’re making progress that would help. The 4 of us came out of that meeting ready to work.”

Conaway says he doesn’t see a bill vote before the November elections but is pushing for December.

At the heart of the current impasse is the bill’s commodity title, and how the farm subsidy pie will be divvied up among regions of the country.

Reports indicate Conaway doesn’t support the Senate bill’s elimination of a $2 billion perk for rural utilities that borrow from the federal government. That opened up funding for initiatives promoting renewable energy development and local and regional food, research funding for urban and indoor farming, and assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers.

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