The U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees have approved separate versions of a farm bill that would cut the size of the federal food stamp program and alter the way people qualify for it.
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabinow of Michigan says her committee passed a bill that will cut federal spending, and believes a final version will be approved by both chambers.
The two chambers must work out their differences over how much the 80 billion-a-year food stamp program should be cut. Resolving those differences will be key to passing the five-year measure. The bill also sets policy for farm subsidies and rural programs. Some Ohio farmers want to see the measure include support for practices that improve public health, spur the rural economy and enhance natural resources. Lawmakers are considering cutting programs to help sustainable farming, including the National Organic Certification Cost-Share program. That program is used by 40 percent of organic farmers in Ohio. Abbe Turner of Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent is one of them.
House and Senate lawmakers are attempting to pass a final bill after failing in each of the last two years.