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Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation backs Farm Bill proposal


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Less than two days after a tentative deal was announced, the House of Representatives plans to vote on the Farm Bill legislation.

Jim Holt is President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Holt says we do need a new Farm Bill, and he’s glad to see some of the proposed changes. “Farm policy has been in place for a number of years, but it has changed over time to address what current situations are. We felt that the current policy that’s been in place now is rather archaic and did need some significant changes, and that’s what we’re seeing in this bill that’s being proposed now.”

There are critics to the bill, including Congressman Ron Kind of LaCrosse, who say the reforms don’t go far enough. Holt says his organization backs the new legislation. “Well, we are supporting passage of this bill. We think it gives certainty to those in agriculture. It gives the appropriate tools to manage our risk, and so we think those are very positive things.”

The old Farm Bill had several direct payment programs, where farmers were paid directly to produce certain crops. Holt says the new farm bill has far fewer of these direct payments. “The vast majority of those direct payments are going away, and replaced in many cases (with) different assistance from the federal government for farmers to manage their risk, either through a crop insurance program or similar style programs.”

The House of Representatives is expecting this Farm Bill to come up for a vote Wednesday morning.