Stabenow to visit Benzie County for Farm Bill discussion

BENZIE COUNTY — Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will be visiting Benzie County to talk to area residents about the 2013 Farm Bill.

Stabenow will present a roundtable discussion on the bill from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 5 at the Benzie Central High School’s auditorium. The public is invited. The discussion will be hosted by the Benzie County Conservation District.

“Preserving our lands, waterways and wildlife habitats is critical to our economy and our way of life,” Stabenow  said, in a statement. “The 2013 Farm Bill is one of the largest conservation investments in our country, strengthening critical tools that Michigan farmers use to protect treasurers like Arcadia Dunes and Lake Michigan. I look forward to meeting with the Benzie Conservation District and conservation leaders  who are on the front lines protecting the beautiful natural resources Northern Michigan has to offer.”

Most recently, the Farm Bill passed the Senate by a vote of 66-27 and will be sent back to the House for approval. According to Stabenow, the bill is one of the most significant reforms in decades, cutting $24 billion in agricultural spending by consolidating programs and eliminating unneeded direct payment subsidies. The bill also cuts down on food assistance abuse.

The Farm Bill consolidates 23 existing conservation programs into 13, but maintains existing tools to protect and conserve natural areas and wildlife. The bill also contains an agreement making conservation compliance required for crop insurance.

“We are extremely pleased to host Sen. Stabenow,” said Tad Peacock, executive director of the Benzie Conservation District. “The Farm Bill is very important to the Benzie County community. It is a good opportunity for area farmers, conservationists and students  to come and talk to the senator about the bill.”

For the full text of the Farm Bill, entitled H.R. 2642 Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 visit www.thomas.loc.gov or www.govtrack.us.

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