Stabenow says feds should offer more risk aid, research to help farmers


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow addressed agribusiness leaders Monday at a conference in Lansing. Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee and is getting ready to start negotiations on the 2012 farm bill.

She says the rest of the economy benefits when farms and agri-businesses prosper.

"We know it's one out of four jobs - that still surprises people when I say that, both in Michigan and around the country - one out of four jobs and over $71 billion in economic activity just in Michigan," she says.

Stabenow says she wants to shore up federal support for agricultural research in areas such as bio-fuels. And she says farmers could use some federal help in managing the risk of losses due to weather and price volatility.

Stabenow is a Democrat who is expected to seek reelection in November.