Farm Bill Expires and Farmers, Legislators Respond

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Washington is beginning to feel the heat from farmers, many of whom are struggling after they felt the heat of a drought-filled summer season.

The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30.
Now farmers are putting the pressure on legislators to take action with a new version of the bill, the Agriculture Reform Food and Jobs Act of 2012.
The Kentucky Farm Bureau President says it's an extremely important piece of legislation for rural America.

"Not only does it give the farmers a safety net, but it's also where we frame our farm policy," said Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney.

That safety net is crop insurance, something one Simpson county farmer says is essential for farmers in times of drought.

"They can come in and make emergency loans for farmers in drought-stressed areas." said farmer, ans American Soybean Association Secretary Randy Mann.

Mann worries that things like crop insurance and other funding will not be there if something is not done.

"That could come to an end if we don't get this farm bill passed, and it's roughly 13 to 14 million dollars that we get on behalf of USDA to fund to develop markets around the world and feed hunger," said Mann.

"We really need to get this thing done. We're going to be calling on our congressional folks to get this moving," said Haney.

U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie has been working with legislators on the farm bill and responds to the issue by saying...

"My colleagues and I have long been discussing the path forward and how to best provide certainty for our nation's farmers. The recent drought coupled with current times of economic hardship have made it difficult for farmers to succeed and plan ahead," said Rep. Guthrie.

Guthrie went on to say he is working with other legislators on a bill they hope to present once congress is back in session.

Only time will tell if and when the new farm bill will make it into law. Both Mann and Haney say they hope a decision will be made by the end of the year.

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