farm bill

Stateside
6:44 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Food stamp cuts looming in Michigan

Bridge Cards are accepted at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids.
Credit User: Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Tens of thousands of Michigan families will soon see their food stamp benefits trimmed.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, was scaled back in the new farm bill.

Many states have been using a loophole to combat SNAP cuts through paying a higher cost for a "heat and eat" assistance program. By providing just $1 in heating assistance, states had been able to help families qualify for extra food stamps. But under the new farm bill, the minimum "heat and eat" payment is jumping to $21.

And Michigan is one of only four states that hasn't decided a way to continue engaging in these loopholes to avoid SNAP cuts.

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The Environment Report
11:10 am
Tue February 18, 2014

New farm bill shakes up the way we pay for land conservation

user acrylicartist MorgueFile.com

The farm bill has about $57 billion for conservation.

Director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Todd Ambs says a lot of people don't realize the farm bill is where we find the largest source of conservation money from the federal government.

"That’s because there are so many activities that happen on the land that bring us our food, that if done improperly can have a very adverse impact on the soil and also to surrounding waterways," he says.

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Politics & Government
6:09 am
Sat February 8, 2014

President Obama signs farm bill at Michigan State University

“A jobs bill, an innovation bill, an infrastructure bill, a conservation bill, a research bill. It’s like a Swiss Army knife,” said Obama, highlighting that the legislation is about more than just farming."
Rick Pluta MPRN

About 500 people packed a Michigan State University campus hall Friday to witness President Barack Obama sign the new federal farm bill.

The event capped years of negotiations and some tough compromises with Congress on the complex legislation. President Obama said he’s always glad to return to Michigan to cheer the auto industry recovery. Now, he says, it’s time to do the same for agriculture and rural America.

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Politics & Government
3:58 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

President Obama signs farm bill in East Lansing

President Obama signs the 2014 farm bill. Michigan U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are among those looking on.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

President Obama called the farm bill "a jobs bill” before he signed it into law today in East Lansing.

The president says the nearly $1 trillion package of farm subsidies and food assistance spending will benefit rural communities in Michigan and around the country that have struggled in recent years.

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Opinion
11:30 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A triumphant day for Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Today may just be the most triumphant day of Debbie Stabenow’s 13-year career in the U.S. Senate.

President Barack Obama flew to East Lansing this morning to sign the farm bill, which will guide federal agricultural policy over the next decade. The bill finally made it through Congress this week, after being stalled for two years by partisan battles.

Afterward, both parties gave Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, credit for coming up with a formula to break the logjam. But there was plenty of criticism too, mainly from Democrats, for $8 billion in cuts the bill made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

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Politics & Government
6:11 am
Fri February 7, 2014

President Obama will be in Mid-Michigan later today

The president is signing the nearly $1 trillion farm bill into law on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
White House

President Obama travels to Michigan today where he will sign the nation’s new farm bill into law.

The new law will change the way the federal government aids the nation’s farmers.

The president is signing the nearly $1 trillion farm bill into law on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing.

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Stateside
5:04 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Democrats split over the new farm bill

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

When President Obama visits Michigan tomorrow, he will sign into law the new, massive farm bill. After years of debate, both the House and Senate passed the almost $1 trillion measure.

And, as usual in Congress, the legislation saw a split between Michigan's delegation, but not just the same old Republican vs. Democratic split.

Out of Michigan's five Democratic U.S. Representatives, two voted against the bill, three in favor of it.  One of the Democrats who voted for the bill was Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:56 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

After years of debate, Congress has sent the almost $1 trillion farm bill to President Obama, and, as usual, opposition to the legislation was a left-right affair. On today's show: Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint joins us to talk about why he voted in favor.

Then, Michigan Radio’s political commentator Jack Lessenberry explained why fixing Michigan’s voting system may be harder than you think.

And, medical students are reaching out to provide health care to uninsured people. We spoke with one of these students about free student-run medical clinics.

And, a new mobile and Web app is providing food for hungry children in Grand Rapids.

Also, we spoke to an economist from the University of Michigan about the success of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

And, the owner of Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, Michigan, joined us today to tell us about how she was approached to provide yarn for the Ralph Lauren Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters. 

First on the show, it's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

He's been going through Gov. Snyder's proposed budget for the new fiscal year and has decided the governor's got something going for him: what President George Herbert Walker Bush called "The Big Mo."

Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.

Stateside
5:25 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

What will the country's farm bill mean for Michigan?

President Barack Obama
(Official White House photo)

It’s official. The country will have a farm bill. On Friday, President Obama plans to sign the nearly $1 trillion bill into law on his trip in East Lansing. On today’s show we take a closer look at the farm bill and explore what all this means to Michigan farmers.

Listen to the audio above.

Opinion
11:04 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Stabenow proves her mettle with passage of farm bill

Eight years ago, Republicans were smirking with glee. They thought they finally had an image to destroy U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. They posted video on YouTube showing an unflattering picture of her in the senate, standing next to a sign reading "Dangerously Incompetent." It was followed by all sorts of sniggering comments,many of them essentially misogynistic.

Stabenow, they claimed then, was one of the most ineffective members of the U.S. Senate. I talked to smug Republicans at the time who felt sure she was going down.

Well, that fall she won reelection by 600,000 votes. Suddenly, Democrats were in the majority in the Senate. Soon Stabenow, the daughter of a car salesman from Clare, was chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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Politics & Government
8:49 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Governor's race, budget proposal and farm bill make political headlines

michigan.gov

This Week in Michigan Politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss the governor’s race, Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal and farm bill.

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

President Obama will sign federal farm bill during Friday visit to Michigan State University

Michigan State University will play host to President Obama on Friday. The president plans to sign the new federal Farm Bill on the MSU campus.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

President Obama will sign the nearly $1 trillion federal farm bill into law when he visits Michigan State University on Friday.

The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill today, ending years of wrangling in Washington over the legislation that provides federal aid to farmers and the nation’s poor.

The sweeping $100-billion-a-year measure won Senate approval Tuesday on a 68-32 vote after House passage last week. The bulk of its cost is for the food stamp program, which aids 1 in 7 Americans.

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The Environment Report
9:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Farm bill likely to help preserve N. Michigan farms

user acrylicartist MorgueFile.com

The new farm bill should help farmland preservation efforts in northern Michigan.

The way farmland preservation works is farmers sell the right to develop their land, so it can never be divided up for houses or strip malls. The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to protect farmland, and that will continue under the new farm bill.

But the federal dollars need to be matched locally, which can be a challenge in a region where land is so valuable.

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Politics & Government
6:05 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm bill faces critical vote today

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on the long-delayed federal farm bill.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan was a key player in the long, drawn-out negotiations on the multi-billion dollar legislation.

She’s the chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture committee.

Stabenow says she’s glad to see the new farm bill will shift spending to insurance programs and away from direct subsidies to farmers.

“For decades folks have been talking about eliminating direct payments. It’s never happened. And in this farm bill, we do that,” says Stabenow.

The farm bill also contains a compromise on federal food assistance programs.

The bill calls for a 1% cut in food assistance spending. That is more than Democrats wanted, but far less than Republicans wanted.

Politics & Government
5:45 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Stabenow expects action this week on farm bill

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen.Debbie Stabenow of Michigan expects Congress will take up the farm bill this week.

Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.  She’s been working on passing a farm bill for more than a year.

“This is very complicated,” says Stabenow. “(It) covers everything from bioenergy, production agriculture, trade, conservation, nutrition – all kinds of things. We’re very close.”

There have been numerous disputes holding up the bill. Disagreement over funding for food assistance programs has been the major stumbling block.

Stateside
6:10 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What does SNAP funding cut mean for people in Michigan?

Terri Stangl
Twitter

Even as more Americans than ever before rely on food stamps, the Farm Bill just passed by the Senate would cut the funding to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years. The House version of the bill includes $20 billion in cuts.

Nationwide, more than 47 million people receive federal food assistance, and 1.7 million in Michigan. So, we wondered what these possible cuts mean to them.

Terri Stangl is the executive director of the Center for Civil Justice in Flint, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:02 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed committing up to $350 million of state money to guarantee city of Detroit pension benefits and to keep Detroit Institute of Arts' art off the auction block. On today's show, we spoke to Daniel Howes about what this cash infusion would mean. 

And, the recently passed farm bill is cutting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years. We looked into how this cut will affect people in Michigan who rely on food assistance.

Also, we heard Andy Soper's  story of failure from Failure:Lab Grand Rapids.

First on the show, Michigan's unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% last month. That December number brings the state's 2013 average jobless rate to 8.7%.   

That's down from 8.9% the year before.

And that means Michigan's annual jobless rate has gone down now for three years in a row.

But are these numbers a good indication of how Michigan's overall economy is faring?

Ballard joined us today to help us answer that question.

Politics & Government
6:13 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Congressional budget deal may loosen the gridlock holding up the Farm Bill

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

An expected congressional vote on a compromise budget bill may have a big effect on another long-stalled piece of federal legislation: the Farm Bill.

Congressional gridlock has prevented an agreement on a federal Farm Bill since 2011. The Farm Bill authorizes a wide range of programs to help farmers in Michigan and elsewhere. The main dispute has been over Republican demands for deep cuts in federal food assistance spending.

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Politics & Culture
4:49 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Can you imagine paying $7 for a gallon of milk? That reality isn't too far off if Congress can't get it together and pass a Farm Bill. We found out more about the so-called dairy cliff on today's show.

Then, scientists say Lake Superior is heating up faster than any other lake on Earth. We asked why.

And, Traverse City’s festivals are adding jobs and money to the local economy, some residents have had enough. Can a balance be reached?

First on the show, a move by the Michigan Lottery has caught retailers by surprise, a big surprise.

Earlier this year, the State Legislature said no to a budget request from the Michigan Lottery for money to launch online and smart phone lottery sales. Storeowners who sell lottery tickets thought that was the end of that.

Turns out, they were wrong.

Chris Gautz has been following this story for Crain's Detroit Business, and he joined us today.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Without a new Farm Bill, dairy prices might soar

Milk prices could get up to $7 a gallon without a new Farm Bill.
jschumacher Morguefile

Farms are in the spotlight on Capitol Hill these days. Or, more to the point, the lack of a new Farm Bill.

The old Farm Bill expired October 1st.

A new Farm Bill is more than two years overdue. And so far, congressional leaders have not been inclined to consider passing yet another short-term extension.

Leaders of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees met today, trying to work out differences between their respective bills as they face a deadline of January 1st.

Without a new Farm Bill by that date, trips to the grocery store may bring on serious "sticker shock," especially when you push your cart along the dairy aisle.

Joining us once again to look at the Farm Bill and what might happen if Congress can't pass a new one was Ryan Findlay. He's with the National Legislative Council for the Michigan Farm Bureau. And he was joined by David Schweikhardt, professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

Listen to the full interview above.

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