Farmers and low income families react to failed Farm Bill - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Farmers and low income families react to failed Farm Bill

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By: Jenn Schanz

It's a 500 billion dollar bill that would increase subsidies for certain crops, and provide disaster relief for farmers.

The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management or "Farm Bill" failed in the House of Representatives on Thursday, leaving farmers stuck in the middle.

"The failure of the House to pass the Farm Bill this week is a kind of a monumental disappointment," says Executive Vice President of Nebraska Cattlemen, Michael Kelsey.

For farmers, the biggest let down of the failed bill is disaster relief.

Without the bill, they say there's not much padding for the farming community in case of natural disasters like drought.

"Now we're very much up in the air as to how these disaster programs might come into play. Which gives us tremendous volatility, and maybe the best word is uncertainty in the market place as well as just in production," Kelsey says.

But the bill doesn't just affect farmers.

Low income families are also concerned.

If passed, the bill would have cut billions of dollars in funding for food stamps, and while it failed this time around, it's expected to be redrafted this year.

"We're extremely concerned about the number of people who will go hungry as a result of the loss of food stamps," says Beatty Brasch, the Executive Director of the Center for People in Need.

The center gives food to more than 1,000 families a week in Lincoln, and that number is growing.

"Sometime food stamps isn't even enough. That's why we come to food day to make up for the food stamps," says Nadine Stone, who comes to the Center for People in Need regularly.

Because of the Fiscal Cliff, the 2008 Farm Bill is extended through Sept. 30th of this year.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will have to reach a solution by then for the Bill to move forward.

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