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Farm Bill

Farm Bill Compromise Reached With SNAP Changes Out, Industrial Hemp In

Dec 11, 2018

Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night, ending the months-long impasse over whether a critical piece of legislation that provides subsidies to farmers and helps needy Americans buy groceries could pass before the lame-duck session concludes at the end of the year.

Final Farm Bill Shows Hemp's In, Food-Aid Work Requirements Are Out

Nov 29, 2018

Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 with Trump signing legislation — The long-awaited final version of the farm bill was unveiled Monday night, and it hews somewhat closely to the previous piece of massive legislation — aside from legalizing hemp on a national level. 

The Senate took a crucial step Thursday to making sure that, among other things, the hungry are fed, farmers have crop price protections and land is preserved beyond Sept. 30 — that is, the day the farm bill expires.

Photo of a farm.
File Photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

The 2014 farm bill included a negotiated rate of return of 14 percent for companies providing federally subsidized crop insurance to farmers. The budget compromise between congressional leaders and the White House unveiled this week would re-open that five-year agreement and reduce the rate of return to 8.9 percent. This would save approximately $3 billion over the next 10 years, but may cost the budget deal some support.

Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the number of Missouri households threatened by hunger has grown over the past three years.

While the national average shows 14.7 percent of American homes had low or very low food security between 2010 and 2012, Missouri's average is 16.7 percent, or about one out of six households.  That's up from 15 percent during the 2007-2009 survey period.  Glenn Koenen is Hunger Task Force Chair for the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Sedalia was swarming with politicians Thursday, as office holders from both parties descended on the Missouri State Fair.

Nearly a thousand people, politicians and citizens alike, dined on country ham, eggs and peaches at the Governor's Ham Breakfast.  Governor Jay Nixon began his annual speech by condemning the incident in which a rodeo clown wore a President Obama mask this weekend.

"What has always united us is (that) no matter what part of the state you're from, or who you voted for, we treat people with respect," Nixon told the applauding crowd.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) says any immigration reform that clears the House will likely be done piece by piece.       

Shimkus echoes Republican leadership who continue to say there’s no way the comprehensive immigration package passed by the Senate will clear the Republican controlled chamber.

“These things can all be handled bit by bit and then you could pull them together later,” Shimkus says.  “But, you won’t see the House passing an overall immigration bill.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 11, 2019: WASHINGTON – By denying the food stamp program its traditional seat at the farm bill table, the Republican-led U.S. House – in a tight 216-208 vote on Wednesday – angered Democrats and set up a potential food fight with Senate negotiators.

(Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart was one of only 24 Democrats who voted in favor of the U.S. House's failed Farm Bill on Thursday.

Enyart, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, supported the bill despite some misgivings but said he is disappointed in the bill’s failure.

Bayer says glyphosate is a key tool for farmers as they try to control weeds and produce enough corn and other crops to help feed the world.
File Photo | Adam Allington | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of Missouri and Illinois' Congressional delegations are weighing in on the U.S. House version of the Farm Bill, which could be voted on before week's end.

Illinois Republican Rodney Davis told reporters today via conference call that the bill is a big improvement over the version passed by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 19, 2012 - WASHINGTON – To the dismay of some low-income Missourians, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., voted for an amendment to slash funds for food stamps and convert it to block grants for states.

Upsetting some environmentalists, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is backing an effort to reassess a pesticide rule that farmers and ranchers oppose. She also wants to require the Environmental Protection Agency’s agriculture counsel to weigh in on behalf of farmers and ranchers on proposed new rules with an impact on agriculture.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 18, 2012 - WASHINGTON – The list of issues seems as long as the 1,010-page bill: a chicken compromise; a $969 billion price tag; a pop for popcorn; pork drama; “crop insurance on steroids”; duplicate catfish inspectors; Midwestern vs. Southern farmers.

The Agriculture, Food and Jobs Act aims to set the table for U.S. food and agriculture policy over the next decade. It would, by some accounts, save taxpayers nearly $24 million from the continuation today’s farm and nutrition programs. And it’s an example of the rarest of congressional creatures: a bipartisan bill.

Farm bill breaks new ground in agriculture research

Jun 5, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - After years of delay, Congress has finally targeted ground-breaking research in food and fiber in the new five-year farm bill. But the real test will come, possibly later this year, when Congress has the opportunity to set aside money to create a National Institute for Food and Agriculture.