Congress finished its summer session and legislators have returned to their home districts and states for the month of August. They will take this time to travel their districts, talk to constituents and prepare for the November election. In light of the severe drought across the country, the Farm Bill is one of the hot topics that will likely be discussed.

Without sufficient votes to pass a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, the House of Representatives moved forward before heading home and passed a disaster relief bill, called the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012, by a vote of 223-197.

This bill reauthorizes the following programs: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP), Livestock Indemnity Payments (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Programs (LFP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

The Senate adjourned before taking up the House-passed disaster relief bill, and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who is against any sort of extension, vowed to work through August to come up with a compromise between the House and Senate Farm Bills for passage in September.

Dairy continues to be a controversial issue.


Click here to view a snapshot of the dairy policy reform debate published in a recent issue of Progressive Dairyman. PD

—From International Dairy Foods Association