U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Dallas Tonsager is praising the Senate’s passage of a $1 trillion farm bill. Tonsager was in mid-Michigan Friday to meet with farmers and homeowners.
The farm bill that cleared the Senate Thursday cuts some $24 billion over the next decade. It would end direct federal subsidies to farmers who’ve relied on those payments since the 1980’s. Tonsager says farmers are doing well enough economically that there’s less need now for government assistance.
"We've seen some real success in the last three years in the agriculture community," Tonsager notes. "We've had wonderful exports, strong prices; and this kind of program kind of adjusts to the times. And the time we're in now, hopefully we'll have strong prices for many years."
The farm bill now goes to the House, where its passage is less certain. Lawmakers must pass a final measure before the start of the federal fiscal year in October.