New Farm Bill is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture

New Farm Bill is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, DC - The Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the Farm Bill, is making its way to the President after passing in both the Senate and the House.

Here is how this big announcement affects local farmers here in our region.

"On this vote, the ‘Yeas’ are 68 the ‘Nays’ are 32 and the conference report is agreed to," said a legislator.

Backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States Senate and House, the Farm Bill is on its way to the President for an official signature this Friday. Aaron Johnson is the acting executive director for the Idaho Farm Service Agency.

"Individuals who work in the agricultural are excited to have a new farm bill in place," said Johnson.

The bill, that costs roughly $100-billion a year, has several key components that affect many Americans. The bill is designed to help farmers when extreme weather conditions ruin crops. This is a change from the former farm bill that gave farmers direct payments whether they farm or not. Through the bill, the government also gives grants to rural communities and groups that protect conservation lands.

"Some things may take a little while for it actually to be interpreted and may be a little bit down the road until it has the benefits to the farmers," said Johnson.

A large part of the bill, that held it from passing for years, is the food stamp program. Law makers settled on cutting the program by $800-million a year, a number the President is calling a compromise. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture said the bill “is a strong investment in American agriculture and supports the continued global leadership of our farmers and ranchers.” But Johnson said there are still a lot of hurdles in order to get the bill in place.

"This bill will be run through the department heads and through the attorneys and each of the articles under this bill will be evaluated and will have an interpretation," said Johnson.

The President hasn't signed the bill yet, however, it is anticipated that he'll sign it into law on Friday with the chairwoman of the Agricultural Committee in Michigan."

An agricultural act is put up for a vote every five years.