Senator Bennet talks to farmers about Farm Bill passage

DELTA, Colo. One of the writers and major supporters of the bill, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, made his way to Delta on Thursday to catch up with local farmers about their thoughts on its passage.

"It was an accomplishment to get it done, so that was a positive," Janie Van Winkle, Beef Producer.

Janie Van Winkle, along with many others who attended Thursday's meeting, is in the agriculture business. The passage of the Farm Bill is set to help farmers and ranchers have more predictability with their crops and livestock.

Senator Bennet said this five year bill is a huge success. It strengthens crop insurance and expands the range of crops, like specialty ones, that can be covered. Livestock insurance will also give Ranchers peace of mind in case of natural disasters. Bennet said there is even livestock disaster relief for people who can prove they lost animals in the 2012 drought.

"They can do what they do best, which is farm and ranch instead of worrying about politics in Washington D.C.," Senator Michael Bennet.

Not everyone was as impressed about parts of the bill, including the reforms to SNAP or food stamp program.

Nearly 80% of the bill goes to nutrition assistance. The bill is projected to spend nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years, with almost $800 billion going to the food stamp program.

One local farmer said the focus should be more on agriculture and less on SNAP.

"The food stamp program, I'm of the opinion, needs to be on its own, by itself in a separate bill to fail or success on its own," Steve Kehmeire, Farmer.

Bennet however takes the passage of the farm bill as a win in his book, "I'm glad that we've been able to demonstrate at least when it comes to agriculture, that common sense can prevail."


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