2018 Farm Bill Looks to Protect Dairy Farmers in Minnesota
MANKATO, MINN -
A bipartisan group of Senators passed a working 2018 Farm Bill through the Ag Committee today with a 20–1 affirmative vote.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is a senior member of the committee and says the bipartisan bill sends a signal of support to farmers in a time where commodity trading prices are falling and there is uncertainty surrounding the US's current trade situation.
"It was really important to keep the safety net in place, keep energy programs strong, biofuel, which is such an important part of the Mankato area economy. And then we did some new things" Klobuchar said.
Some of those new things include expanding ag data sharing and rural broadband access in hopes of drawing in young farmers in an aging industry.
"They can get more grazing land, they get better deals for some of the programs in the Farm Bill," Klobuchar said. "It makes it easier for them to compete and get into the business."
Klobuchar is seeking increased assistance for smaller dairy producers, $100 million has been secured in the budget as another safety net against potentially negative economic changes.
"We just want to keep these dairy farms strong. I was just down in Lanesboro, a very cool place. There's just a lot of dairy farming in Mankato, in Southern Minnesota and we just want to keep that strong." Klobuchar said.
Senate leadership expects the 2018 Farm Bill to go to a vote on the Senate floor before the Fourth of July recess.
The House will have a chance to rework their version of the bill after it failed to pass last week.
The current bill, negotiated in 2014, is set to expire on September 30.
----KEYC News 12