Senator Gillibrand is pushing to allow all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at farmers markets by equipping them with EBT terminals to process SNAP payments. New York is home to roughly 520 farmers markets, second only to California. More than 2.5 million New Yorkers received SNAP benefits in 2010.
As the Farm Bill moves through the Senate Agriculture Committee as early as this week, then on to full Senate consideration, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a teleconference today in which she outlined her priorities for the legislation to strengthen New York State’s agriculture industry and rural communities.
Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly four decades, put together a letter, signed by 32 other senators, to cut crop insurance subsidies and hold off any food stamp cuts.
A northern New York Congressman is re-introducing three farming related bills that had been proposed in the previous session of Congress. The bills were part of the 2012 Farm Bill, which has yet to be passed by the U.S. House.
The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have agreed to a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill that expired in October, to head off a possible doubling of milk prices next month. But there is no vote scheduled yet on the House floor.
Senator Charles Schumer is sharpening his warning that if Congress, and the House in particular, does not pass the Farm Bill, consumers may see the price of milk double and dairy farmers lose any price stability.
Frustration and concerns are growing in the agricultural community as the Farm Bill languishes in the U.S. House, and no action appears to be imminent.
The U.S. Farm Bill expires at the end of the year. At that time, some programs will revert to previous funding levels and others will sunset. Some programs, like the Milk Income Loss Program - or MILC - a support program for dairy farmers, has already ended. The Senate has passed the bill, but House leadership has not brought it to a floor vote.
The leader of the U.S. House confirmed Thursday that the Farm Bill will not be addressed until after the November election. That concerns farmers across the region, because the bill and provisions crucial to the dairy industry expire at the end of this month.
The U.S. Farm Bill does more than fund agricultural programs. It is also the source of money for the SNAP, or food stamp program, and is also the largest source of conservation funding in the federal budget. A coalition of groups from the Great Lakes region is calling on federal legislators to pass the Farm Bill.
Vermont's congressional delegation says the farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate that includes a program aimed at stabilizing milk prices is a good step forward. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…
A provision of the voluntary program is designed to stop the dramatic swings in prices, by discouraging the oversupply of milk and allowing farmers to buy insurance that pays out when prices plummet.