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ALM Congratulates Sens. Stabenow, Roberts for Farm Bill
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Thank Stabenow and Roberts for working together in a bipartisan manner, bringing real reform to U.S. farm policy.

Source: Agricultural Leaders of Michigan

Agricultural Leaders congratulate Sens. Stabenow, Roberts for leadership on Farm Bill

Agricultural Leaders of Michigan today thanked Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Pat Roberts, the ranking minority member on the committee, for their leadership in securing the passage of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (Farm Bill). The proposal, authored by Sens. Stabenow and Roberts, bring real reform to conservation, dairy and farm payment programs while protecting programs essential to agriculture, family farms and jobs.

“We congratulate Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Pat Roberts on their leadership in bringing the Senate together to pass the Farm Bill,” said Dave Armstrong, president and CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services. “This is a great example of how government is supposed to work. The Senate allowed amendments and debate and pulled together a bipartisan Farm Bill that includes major reforms to farm policy, including conservation programs, dairy policy and farm payment programs, even as it saves taxpayer dollars.”

The Farm Bill passed by the Senate preserves key programs that help farmers reach new markets and create jobs here in Michigan. At the same time, this bill includes reforms to food and agricultural policy that save billions of taxpayer dollars and consolidate programs. The bill eliminates direct payments and emphasizes the need to strengthen risk management tools for farmers, saving billions of dollars.

The Senate also adopted Stabenow’s amendment to the bill that will provide compensation for cherry farmers, who were unable to buy crop insurance under current rules, and suffered major crop losses. Michigan’s cherry farmers have been devastated by early warm temperatures followed by frosts that damaged or destroyed much of their fruit crop.

“Sen. Stabenow has once again demonstrated her commitment to Michigan agriculture with this bill,” said Jim Byrum president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “This Farm Bill not only strengthens crop insurance and expands access so that farmer’s aren’t wiped out by a few days of bad weather, it adds provisions to ensure that Michigan will continue to have a thriving specialty crop industry,” Byrum said. “We also thank Sens. Stabenow and Roberts for their leadership on this bill, and working together in a bipartisan manner to get it done, bringing real reform to U.S. farm policy.”

The Farm Bill also eliminates duplicative programs, allowing funds to go to areas in which they will have the greatest impact and work better for producers. For example, the bill consolidates 23 existing conservation programs into 13 programs, while maintaining the existing tools farmers and landowners need to protect and conserve land, water and wildlife.