The U.S. Senate has passed the The Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, better known as the Farm Bill, getting through that chamber by a bipartisan vote of 64 to 35. That bipartisan support pleased Senate Agriculture Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and the ranking member of the committee, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). The vote also pleased the Dairy Farmers of America who said passage “sent an important message to the nation’s agriculture industry” and the Farm Bill contains dairy provisions that will provide producers with tools to better manage volatility and their margins, while keeping them competitive in the global marketplace.
Amendments are a big part of any legislative process, and the Farm Bill was no exception… 73 started the process, and 45 passed, including Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe’s measure that requires milk marketing order reform, eliminating the use of end-product price formulas for setting prices for Class III milk and requiring handlers to report, maintain, and make available all information and records for the administration of any milk marketing order. Meanwhile, the amendment from Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC), that would have made mandatory dairy checkoff programs voluntary, failed.
The bill is expected to be taken up by the House after the 4th of July break. Ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, Minnesota Democrat Representative Collin Peterson said he was pleased his dairy program had survived the amendment process.
You can hear more about the Farm Bill in this edition of the Milking Parlor: Milking Parlor Podcast Farm Bill in the Senate
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