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Local farmers and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand push to pass the farm bill

By ALLISON NORLIAN

HUBBARDSVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) - Farmers, community members, economic professionals and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand got together today at Endless Trails Farm in Hubbardsville, to speak their opinions and advocate for the passing of the farm bill.

The bill, which is updated each year with various provisions has been in limbo because of controversy between parties in the house and Senate. Senator Gillibrand said the house passed the agricultural piece of the bill, which involves commodity crops, conservation and insurance. The nutrition and food stamps portion of the bill however, was denied and is the portion of the bill that takes up 80 percent of it. Gillibrand is fighting to make the bill one again and have the senate pass it.

Gillibrand, who is the first to sit on the AG committee for New York in over 40 years said, "A lot of members of house don't want to invest in food for our families and I think its a moral issue and I think they are wrong so its an issue we have to advocate harder for them...Describe these families for them...these are hard working families and if you can understand if your working 40 hrs a week today on the minimum wage you are making $15,000 a year. Imagine feeding families on that amount of money, imagine being a single mom with two kids trying to feed a family...you're 3,000 below poverty line...that's a family that needs access to nutrition and food and those children deserve to be successful like my children do."

The bill, which has an affect on the 38 billion dollar farming industry has upset and made many local farmers uneasy. Darrell Griff, who is not only a farmer but the director of the Farm Bureau, District 5 said, " We think its all about feeding people in the community that's what we do...we produce food...the idea of farm bill is to support farmers, keep price of food on shelves at a consistent level for consumers, that's why we have these safety nets the variability of weather, market that's the premise behind it. "

If the bill isn't passed by this year the old farm bill will be implemented.

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