Farm Bill http://wuis.org en Harvest Blog: Certified Organic Food Sector Growing http://wuis.org/post/harvest-blog-certified-organic-food-sector-growing <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced new data on certified organic food, showing the industry grew just over four percent in 2013, with a record breaking 18,513 farms and businesses in the United States.</span></p><p>Certified organic food has seen a 245 percent increase since 2002, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program. &nbsp;Last year the federal government certified 763 producers. &nbsp;</p><p>The following is from USDA:&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 19:06:34 +0000 Peter Gray 21274 at http://wuis.org Harvest Blog: Certified Organic Food Sector Growing Farmers Bid Farewell To Big Expense Tax Write-Offs http://wuis.org/post/farmers-bid-farewell-big-expense-tax-write-offs <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p></p><p>It could be yet another sign that the good times are over.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:49:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 19938 at http://wuis.org Farmers Bid Farewell To Big Expense Tax Write-Offs Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/meat-labeling-advocates-back-new-farm-bill <p>Proponents of a <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/new-labeling-rules-could-give-consumers-more-information-about-their-meat-COOL">new labeling rule that gives consumers more information about where their meat comes from </a>say they are pleased with the new farm bill President Obama signed into law on Friday. That’s because the bill does not include any significant changes to current country-of-origin labeling rules, known as COOL.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18737 at http://wuis.org Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill Obama Signs Farm Bill, Announces Rural Export Initiative http://wuis.org/post/obama-signs-farm-bill-announces-rural-export-initiative <p>One of the key farm bill negotiators says the nation has entered “a new era of farm and food policy.”&nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 16:37:22 +0000 Peter Gray 18504 at http://wuis.org Obama Signs Farm Bill, Announces Rural Export Initiative U.S. Senate Approves Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/us-senate-approves-farm-bill <p>The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.</p><p>Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk were among the 68 "yea" votes. &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">To view Durbin's video statement on the farm bill vote, </span><strong><a href="https://vimeo.com/85835735" style="line-height: 1.5;">click here</a></strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 21:37:24 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld & Peter Gray 18297 at http://wuis.org U.S. Senate Approves Farm Bill U.S. House To Vote On 2014 Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/us-house-vote-2014-farm-bill <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The U.S. House is set to vote on a new farm bill Wednesday, after House and Senate negotiators earlier this week agreed on compromise legislation combining each chambers' drafts.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This 2014 farm bill has been a long time coming. &nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At least one farm bill watcher from the Midwest is pleased that Congress has finally reached an agreement on the farm bill after years of debate.</span></p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:49:22 +0000 Peter Gray 17848 at http://wuis.org U.S. House To Vote On 2014 Farm Bill No Farm Bill This Year http://wuis.org/post/no-farm-bill-year <p></p><p>Congress won’t pass a farm bill before early next year.</p><p>That was the message from Washington Tuesday, when the principal farm bill players emerged from negotiations and announced they won’t have a full bill ready before the House adjourns for the year on Friday.</p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 23:43:49 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 14727 at http://wuis.org No Farm Bill This Year Families In Rural America Brace For Food Stamps Cuts http://wuis.org/post/families-rural-america-brace-food-stamps-cuts <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As farm bill negotiations continue in Washington, D.C., it’s fairly certain that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will be cut. &nbsp;One proposal would trim the food stamp program by $4 billion over the next decade; the other would cut roughly ten times that much.&nbsp;</span></p><p>That’s after the Obama Administration’s recession-era boost to SNAP expired November 1st, leaving the average family with about $30 less to spend each month.</p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Peter Gray 13695 at http://wuis.org Families In Rural America Brace For Food Stamps Cuts Farm Bill Talks Fall Through http://wuis.org/post/farm-bill-talks-fall-through <p>Though farm bill talks heated up this week in Washington, key legislators emerged from negotiations Thursday disappointed and predicted there would be no progress until after Congress returns in December from its recess.</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:27:27 +0000 Jeremy Bernfeld 13567 at http://wuis.org Farm Bill Talks Fall Through Food Stamp Cut "Will Affect Our Population Big Time" http://wuis.org/post/food-stamp-cut-will-affect-our-population-big-time <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Food pantries and homeless shelters say they're beginning to notice repercussions of a reduction in food stamps that will take effect Fri., Nov. 1. A temporary hike in benefits that kicked as a result of the recession expires this week.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Individuals enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could see their benefits cut by $11 a month. A family of four could see a decrease of $36.</span></p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 22:19:40 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 11877 at http://wuis.org Food Stamp Cut "Will Affect Our Population Big Time" Farm Bill Expires; What's Next? http://wuis.org/post/farm-bill-expires-whats-next <p></p><p>The farm bill expired at midnight on Monday, leaving farmers and ranchers across the country guessing at what federal farm policy will look like when they next put their crops in the ground.</p><p>Of course, they&rsquo;re used to uncertainty, as this is the second straight year Congress has let the farm bill expire. Last year, farmers were set adrift for three months before <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/1568/farmers-frustrated-farm-bill-extension/5">lawmakers passed a nine-month extension</a> of older policy in January.</p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 07:45:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 9980 at http://wuis.org Farm Bill Expires; What's Next? Taking The SNAP Challenge Is Not Easy http://wuis.org/post/taking-snap-challenge-not-easy <p>How well would you do living off $4.80 a day for food?&nbsp;</p><p>The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is often the way some families get food. The<strong> SNAP Challenge</strong> is designed to illustrate what it&#39;s like to live off the allotment given to those who receive what are commonly called food stamps.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 15:11:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 9840 at http://wuis.org Taking The SNAP Challenge Is Not Easy Largely Unpopular, Direct Payment Subsidies Persist http://wuis.org/post/largely-unpopular-direct-payment-subsidies-persist <p>Congress is <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/house-passes-snapped-farm-bill#.UkGtFIash8E">bitterly divided on food stamps and other issues</a> contained in the farm bill, but both political parties agree on something: the $5 billion-a-year farm subsidy called Direct and Countercyclical Payments has got to go.</p><p>The program shells out to farmers and land owners regardless of need or loss. It’s a hold-out from a farm bill that promised an end to subsidies and it’s holding on only because Congress is so dysfunctional.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 23:09:21 +0000 Frank Morris 9584 at http://wuis.org Largely Unpopular, Direct Payment Subsidies Persist Illinois County Relied Heavily On Crop Insurance Last Year http://wuis.org/post/illinois-county-relied-heavily-crop-insurance-last-year <p>Farmers in the Midwest were devastated by a crippling drought in 2012. The federal crop insurance program paid out a record $17.3 billion. And in rural America, that money is still paying dividends. To understand the impact, Harvest Public Media reporter Bill Wheelhouse took a tour of Livingston County, Illinois. Farmers here received by far the biggest insurance payout in the nation.</p><p>On this sweltering day in mid-August, surrounded by healthy 8-foot tall corn stalks, Doug Wilson peels back the husks to see how his corn is looking. The verdict?</p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 10:17:05 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 8223 at http://wuis.org Illinois County Relied Heavily On Crop Insurance Last Year Congressman Schock Talks Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/congressman-schock-talks-farm-bill <p>With Congress in its August recess, the farm bill is stalled and many are pessimistic about getting a new bill passed before the current extension expires on Sept. 30. Still, farm country legislators aren’t exactly giving up hope.<br>Republican Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was asked about the farm bill at a town hall style meeting in in his district this week.<br>He said that he thinks the most likely outcome is that the House will pass a “food stamp bill,” to go along with a agriculture portion it passed in June. That could put the farm bill back on track.<br> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 18:50:51 +0000 Sean Crawford 7292 at http://wuis.org Congressman Schock Talks Farm Bill Rural Development In The Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/rural-development-farm-bill <p></p><p>As Congress fiddles with major farm legislation, there’s a portion of it that gets very little attention. Some say it is a difference-maker for job creation in small rural communities,and provides a boost those towns need.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 21 May 2013 18:36:46 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 3006 at http://wuis.org Rural Development In The Farm Bill