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Top Senate Ag Committee members vow to work together to pass 2018 farm bill

Agribusiness Matters 5-8-17

Pictured: Debbie Stabenow

The two top Senators on the Agriculture Committee agree they will have to work together to get a farm bill written and passed.

Even though Kansas and Michigan are a long way apart, the leaders vow they will put down political differences and get a bill done in 2018.

Republican Pat Roberts is chair of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee. He also chaired the House Ag Committee in the 1990’s. Roberts said, “When you’re chairman on the ag committee we represent all of agriculture.”

Democrat Debbie Stabenow is the ranking minority member and a past chairman when Democrats controlled the senate and she said, “As you know, in agriculture it’s about regional differences, differences in commodities, and less about partisanship. We get things done when we do it together, we work out agreements.”

The two explained some complications. “Sometimes people want some things that we really can’t do,” Roberts said.

Stabenow said, “Unfortunately, our milk program is most concerning to me. It didn’t work as we needed it to work. Milk is our number one commodity in Michigan and we got too many small and medium sized farmers that because prices are way down, having a very difficult time.”

Roberts and Stabenow are hoping for compromise for the good of all.

“We want to find out what’s working, what’s not working, fix that and pass a bill,” Roberts concluded.