Local farmers & advocates for low-income earners react to Farm Bill passage
Thu, 06 Feb 2014 23:30:19 GMT —
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week sent President Barack Obama a five-year, $1 trillion farm bill. The bill is bringing extra support to farmers while making cuts to food stamps.
The Yancho family Grand Blanc is dependent on the new legislation. They're ready for President Obama to put his pen to the paper. They say this new agreement brings them some new stability.
Nobody got everything they wanted but everybody had to give up a little bit but everybody got something,â?? admits Mike Yancho, Sr.
That something he got, is a sense of security for the Yancho family and their family run tree farm.
â??Speciality crop insurance is huge for us,â?? says Yancho.
The bill now covers growers who suffer devastating losses.
â??In 1988, we lost all the trees we planted due to a drought and there was no compensation whatsoever,â?? says Yancho.
But now, the Yancho family can plant pumpkins, trees and squash and not worry about a drought.
â??We're very excited to have a farm bill,â?? says Yancho.
But not everyone is sharing the enthusiasm.
â??Our one concern about the farm bill there is a significant cut to SNAP benefits,â?? says Terri Stangl, executive director of The Center for Civil Justice in Flint.
The Nutrition assistance program for low-income earners is taking an $8 billion cut. Thatâ??s much less than the $39 billion reduction house Republicans wanted.
Still, Stangl says recipients will have much lighter wallets.
â??That $50 to $90 makes up the difference,â?? says Stangl.
But economy professor Chris Douglas says the general public will be footing the bill.
â??I think the losers are taxpayers who are on the hook for paying taxes for subsidies that go to farmers,â?? says Dr. Douglas, who teaches at The University of Michigan-Flint.
But if you ask Mike Yancho, every American is connected to farming.
â??Well, everyone eats,â?? says Yancho.
The president is expected to sign the farm bill Friday when he visits Michigan State University.
NBC25 will be there and bring you live coverage beginning on NBC25 Today.
The speech will also be livestreamed on minbcnews.com.