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Secretary of Agriculture in Lansing to Push Farm Bill

Secretary of Agriculture in Lansing to Push Farm Bill

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Aug 6, 2012

The Secretary of Agriculture will meet with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in Lansing today to discuss federal support for Michigan farmers after this year's record-setting drought.

The focus today is on the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Acts, also known as the Farm Bill.

Senator Stabenow says the Farm Bill provides immediate relief to Michigan farmers affected by the drought.

The five-year bill passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, but has not been taken up in the House yet.

Stabenow says the farm bill makes sure disaster assistance is available for growers this year, and strengthens crop insurance to protect Michigan farmers in future years. It includes relief for livestock, expands crop insurance for specialty crops, and strengthens conservation efforts to help mitigate future disasters. She says the bill also ends payments to farmers for crops they don't grow, and streamlines programs to cut $23 billion in spending.

Senator Stabenow and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will talk with local farmers this afternoon at the Michigan Corn Growers Association in Lansing.

Rainfall last week helped stabilize Michigan's corn crop and improve conditions for the state's soybeans, but experts say the state still needs more rain as Michigan farmers continue to battle one of the worst droughts in decades.