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Politics


Farm Bill expires leaving Ohio farmers facing a tough time
The bill's nine-month extension ended at midnight Monday
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
MacKenzie Bailey, policy program coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, says that the continued uncertainty over the bill makes life more difficult for organic farmers.
Courtesy of Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
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It was just another manic Monday on the House and Senate floors, and the aftermath is evident today as government offices lock up. The Farm Bill also expired at midnight Monday, leaving Ohio farmers in the lurch. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports.

LISTEN: Lewis Wallace on the farm bill expiring

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Remember the farm bill? The omnibus law that funds food stamps, crop insurance and a slew of farm subsidies?

At midnight Monday, a nine-month extension of that bill expired, which means for the moment the law reverts to its 1949 version.

MacKenzie Bailey with the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says the ongoing insecurity over the bill makes life harder for organic farmers.

"Farmers rely on programs like farmers market promotion program ... and the national organic cost-share program, which helps alleviate the costs of organic certification," she said.

This expiration of the farm bill won’t immediately affect food assistance or crop insurance. But a safety-net program for dairy farmers and international food aid in the bill will be suspended.

And don’t bother checking the USDA’s website for updates; that’s closed, too, due to the government shutdown.

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