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Farm Bill Passes Senate

The farm bill ball is now in the House of Representative’s court. Gary Crawford is in Washington…

“’Its been a long road for the agriculture reform, food and jobs act.’ Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow Monday evening just prior to the Senate voting 66 to 27 to pass the farm bill for the second time in two years no one on Monday speaking against the bill. A bill that several speakers said ‘Meets the needs of those involved in agriculture production and the consumer.’ So when we look at this farm bill, we have to understand that it involves not just our farmers, but our entire economy. We are providing $24 billion in deficit reduction by eliminating a process of direct payments.’ So once again, as last year, the Senate easily passes a farm bill. Last year the House refused to bring a bill to the floor. ‘The good news is this year it looks like its going to be different.’ Debbie Stabenow and other Senators called on the House leadership to this time, bring its bill up for floor debate.”

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow has expressed many concerns with the proposed sale of Smithfield Foods to a Chinese firm. As a result – she said Friday that she plans to get her committee involved in the government’s evaluation of whether the sale should move forward. In fact – in an interview for C-SPAN – Stabenow said the Ag Committee will insist on becoming involved in the process the Treasury Department will undertake to evaluate the proposed sale. Hearings may or may not be held. According to Stabenow – the sale could have implications for U.S. consumers and other export markets like Japan.

Summer is the Perfect Opportunity for Farm Education

By now schools across are out for the summer – and while students are enjoying their summer break, it may be a great time for some agricultural education. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says taking kids to a farm is a fun way to introduce agriculture…

“With all the things we do in NC, the summer is the perfect time to see everything. We know that our kids are much further removed from the farm today so there is a lot more education to do. Its easier to educate them as kids than wait till they become adults.”

Troxler says AG department partnerships with Marbles Kids Museum and the NC Museum of History, both in Raleigh, also provide learning opportunities.

Not only for kids, but teachers are also sharpening their ag education. SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers says the Farm Bureau Federation’s Ag in the Classroom program is underway all this week…

“It provides them training for an agricultural based curriculum to use in the following year, under the guidelines that primarily our grammar school teachers are using. It sues math and social skills with agriculture education as the primary theme.”

The institute uses the latest educational theories and teaching methods to help teachers come up with innovative ways to use Ag in the Classroom curricula. They also get lesson plans and hands-on experience with agriculture through farm and agribusiness tours. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.