Sen. Franken pushing for new 5-year farm bill - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sen. Franken pushing for new 5-year farm bill

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (KTTC) - It was June 21, 2012, the day the U.S. Senate passed a new farm bill to aid U.S. farmers as the previous bill was set to expire. The House of Representatives never took up the bill, causing a temporary measure to be passed set to expire in September.

As Senator Al Franken begins his push to get a new farm bill passed this year, he also provides some insight as to why the original bill never made it through.

"The Speaker of the House made that decision not to take up the bill in the House, even though Colin Peterson, the ranking member here from Minnesota in the 7th District, did a count and that would've passed in the House."

The decision to not take up the bill left Minnesota farmers looking for answers.

"There's uncertainty for pricing, planning for the future," explains Eunice Biel, a dairy farmer from Harmony. "Uncertainty for bringing in young farmers and family members into the operation."

Minnesota's senators and representatives understood that uncertainty, and kept on their fight to get legislation passed.

"We need that next generation to get in," says Sen. Franken, "we need to be able to give our farmers the certainty that they need to plan ahead."

Senator Franken is proposing a five-year plan with support from Senators on both sides of the isle. But the looming question, will the House ignore it again?

"I'm pretty sure the Speaker will bring it up in the House and we'll have a five-year bill. The farmers I talk to want that kind of certainty, and I think the Speaker of the House has gotten that message."

That is news farmers have been waiting to hear since June.

"With that, we will have a farm bill and this will work out," explains Ed Jostock, a dairy and hog farmer from Rochester. "It's the good team effort that'll make it happen."

A team effort to put the minds of Minnesota farmers at ease.

Senator Franken held meetings with farmers in St. Charles and Albert Lea on Saturday, saying he wants to be able to go back to the Senate with the concerns southern Minnesota has about the current state of farming.

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