Farmers Await New Farm Bill
The federal farm bill, which contains a slew of government programs for crop insurance, farm credit, research and more, is in conference committee where U.S. senators and representatives are hashing out the differences between two separate versions.
One sticking point is over whether able-bodied adults should be required to work or get job training in order to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which used to be called food stamps.
Brent Ladage who farms near Auburn, Illinois urged passage of a stand-along farm bill;
Illinois Farm Bureau District 10 board member Mark Reichert said it’s common sense to have able-bodied people pull their own weight, but “everybody comes down on hard times and they need assistance and so [the farm bill] is the avenue to where those folks can get some assistance.”
Supporters say the requirement is a pathway for individuals to get out of needing government assistance while opponents say the requirement won’t lift people from poverty.
It’s unclear if a farm bill will pass the conference committee before the Sept. 30th deadline, when the current legislation expires.