What Does the Farm Bill Mean to You?

Whether you live in a rural farming community or a big city, the trillion dollar, nearly 1000 page farm bill will impact what you eat and how much you pay for it.

"We streamlined programs. We cut red tape. We've eliminated waste. And for the first time in this bill, page 1 line 1, is repealing direct payments. This is not your father's farm bill," said S. Debbie Stabenow, (D) Michigan.

Direct payments gave subsidies to farmers whether they grew anything or not---the program is replaced by more crop insurance for farmers.

"This provides certainty for Michigan farmers. It allows them to manage their risk, so that the farm that you're going to go pick apples at this fall, that farm that you see harvesting wheat and end up in your bread or some of the products that we see in our cereal every morning, those farms are going to continue to function in the future even when they have a year like 2012 that hits them on the front end with a frost," said Ryan Findlay, Farm Bureau of Michigan.

And those Michigan apples could be sweeter and more abundant in the coming years thanks to a 40 percent increase in specialty crop research funds. And no government imposed limits on milk production, which could prevent a spike in dairy prices. The bill also giving more than a little to a few surprising ventures, like catfish inspection, and millions to maple syrup promotion.

"The next time you see an advertisement for maple syrup, you may want to watch it because its your tax dollars that paid for it," said Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).

But that's all only 20 percent of the bill. 80 percent deals with nutrition programs like food stamps, which will see 8.6 billion dollars in controversial cuts over the next 10 years through stricter eligibility requirements.

"This is a hard fought compromise. everyone got a little everyone gave a little," said Rep. Ken Schrader (D-Oregon).

And after two years of back and forth, the President putting pen to paper will make it law today.


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