Senate farm bill passes committee and local farmers weigh in - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Senate farm bill passes committee and local farmers weigh in


The continuing Senate farm bill passed committee yesterday. Senate leader Mitch McConnell said the bill is expected to go for a vote on the Senate floor in early July. 

The newest Senate proposal does not include the same reductions to the SNAP program that the House version of the farm bill did.

One change is premium reductions for dairy farmers. Remington Perkins owner and operator of Perk Farm Organic Dairy said "...that will give us a little extra money on the months that the government deems the price of milk is low enough and the feed costs are high enough that they think we need a payment…"

The bill also includes reimbursements for farmers applying for the certified organic label and funding for organic research.

Perkins said, "We don't have the chemical companies and the big ag companies that put a lot of money into research that actually focuses on organics…"

Some farmers are not in favor of the new farm bill. Robert Doering owner and operator of Sarver Heritage Farms said, "…there was a time when there was local production in this country and local processing for that production, but because of things like this farm bill there is no longer a creamery in Ronceverte where you could go and buy ice cream made here…"

Robert Doering adds he believes the government favors big ag.

Congress has until September to pass a new farm bill because that is when the current farm bill expires.

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