Congressional agriculture leaders are negotiating a long-term farm bill package to be inserted into a fiscal cliff deal expected by the end of the month.
This activity in Washington has raised hopes that farm and food legislation will get done this year, though many details and the legislative mechanism are far from certain.
The four principals on Capitol Hill – Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) – have met several times this week.
They and agriculture stakeholders in Congress, Washington and back in farm country are counting on the savings offered by a long-term farm bill to be attractive enough to get a suitable package worked into the larger agreement, which faces its own tense negotiations.
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