Farm bill heading to president’s desk

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There is good news for area farmers as the 2018 farm bill is one step closer to becoming reality. 

The House and Senate have both passed the bill and now it’s heading to the president’s desk. 

After months of waiting for Congress to agree on a final farm bill, farmers may soon have some certainty. 

Senator Tammy Baldwin, D- Wisconsin, said nearly 600 Wisconsin dairy farms have gone out of business this year, and the compromise bill will help. 

“It’s going to provide letter of insurance and premiums are going to be lower.” said Baldwin.

The bill also includes Baldwin’s measure to crack down on imported products that claim to be organic, but don’t meet USDA standards. 

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa voted “No” on the bill, saying it gives too much money to large corporate farms. 

“It’s the small and medium-sized farmers that need the help from the government,” Grassley said. 

Grassley said that makes it harder for young farmers to get started, and will cost taxpayers too much money. 

He argues the conference committee gave in to powerful lobbyists. 

We have a farm bill that is intentionally written, I want to emphasize “intentionally,” to help the largest farmers receive unlimited subsidies,” said Grassley.

Baldwin says she shares Grassley’s concerns but said given where negotiations started, this bill is a victory. 

Proposed work requirements for food stamps and cuts to conservation programs aren’t in the final bill. 

“It is a compromise, but it will respond to what is really an agriculture crisis,” 

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