Majority News


Stabenow, Cochran Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Cooperative Extension System, Expansion of Agricultural Research

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee, today announced the introduction of a resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension System, helping to connect the public to research occurring in the land-grant university system. The resolution recognizes the importance of the legislation in extending… Continue Reading


Five Things You Should Know about the New Bipartisan Farm Bill

President Obama signed the new bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill into law on February 7, marking a new direction in American agriculture policy. The Farm Bill is a rare example of Congress working together to pass a major bipartisan jobs bill, and legislation that reduces the deficit by tens of billions of dollars. Here are five things you should know about the new Farm Bill (click links for more info, and see what others are saying on each i… Continue Reading


President Obama Signs Farm Bill at Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - President Barack Obama today signed into law the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill at a special signing ceremony on Michigan State University's campus. The president joined Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the farm bill's lead Senate author and Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry for the ceremony. Farmers, conservations leaders, and local food advocates were also on hand. The legislation represents rare bipartisan agreement that will help to cre… Continue Reading


Senate Approves 2014 Farm Bill, Legislation Heads to the President

The U.S. Senate today voted overwhelmingly to approve the bipartisan Farm Bill coauthored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, by a vote of 68-32. The bill represents rare bipartisan agreement on legislation that would boost a major sector of the U.S. economy and create jobs across the country. The 2014 Farm Bill, which reduces the deficit by $23 billion and represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy… Continue Reading


ICYMI: Senator Debbie Stabenow in Huffington Post Op-ed: “This is not your father’s farm bill”

In an op-ed in the Huffington Post, Senator Stabenow said of the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill today: "The bill marks a major step in changing the paradigm in American agriculture policy…" "The new Farm Bill ends indefensible government subsidies like direct payments, which pay farmers every year whether they need it or not….This approach saves taxpayers billions of dollars and is much more sensible than direct payments." The bill "expands support for healthier and more locally-ba… Continue Reading


U.S. Senate Votes to Move Forward on 2014 Farm Bill, Vote on Final Passage Tomorrow

The U.S. Senate cleared a procedural hurdle today and voted to proceed to consideration of the 2014 Farm Bill, paving the way for a final vote on the measure tomorrow. Cloture was invoked with strong bipartisan support of 72-22. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), the Committee's Ranking Member, co-authored the bipartisan reform bill that ends direct payment subsidies, saves taxpayers $23… Continue Reading


What Supporters of Food Assistance Programs Are Saying About Farm Bill Food Stamp Policy

For more information on the Farm Bill's savings in food assistance, click here. Bob Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Congress did not intend for states to stretch the benefit rules this way and longstanding [food stamp] supporters like myself find it difficult to defend… It's difficult to defend the practice of giving people higher benefits for supposedly paying bills they don't, in fact, pay … If Congress doesn't address the weakness in the SUA rules, SNAP's … Continue Reading


Deficit Reduction: The 2014 Farm Bill

In 2011, the House and Senate Agriculture Committees set a goal of cutting $23 billion from agriculture programs. This Farm Bill ensures that, including sequester, the bill yields a total of $23 billion in cuts to program spending, meeting the committees' deficit reduction goal. Farm Bill Savings The Farm Bill achieves major reform by ending direct payment subsidies, accounting for the bulk of the Farm Bill's spending cuts. Savings are achieved in nutrition programs by addressing fraud and mi… Continue Reading


Letters and Statements of Support

American Farm Bureau Federation National Farmers Union Union of Concerned Scientists Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Ducks Unlimited National Rifle Association National Wildlife Federation Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Humane Society of the United States AARP The Nature Conservancy World Wildlife Fund Pheasants Forever Audubon Society National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition National Telecommunications Cooperative Association - The Rural Broadband Association Feed … Continue Reading


The Farm Bill is a Jobs Bill

Agriculture represents a bright spot in the U.S. economy and is underpinning the nation's economic recovery. Passing a five-year Farm Bill creates the certainty needed for farmers, ranchers and businessesthroughout a sector critical toour entire economy. American agriculture supports 16 million American jobs. Agriculture is one of the only sectors of the U.S. economy that boasts a trade surplus. This surplustotaled $38.5 billion in 2012. Exports totaled $141.3 billionin 2012 - nearly … Continue Reading


ICYMI: The Hill Op-Ed: Farm bill gets it right on conservation

"This farm bill would be one of the strongest ever for conservation and forestry" "Farm bill conservation programs ... encourage practices that lead to healthier lands and waters, and they are critical to a strong economy, healthy and productive rural lands, and vibrant communities" "The new farm bill has several important provisions to advance effective conservation, respecting the vital role that farmers, ranchers and forest owners play in conserving our nation's soil, water and … Continue Reading


Chairwoman Stabenow Statement on House Passage of 2014 Farm Bill

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement regarding the House's vote to pass The Agricultural Act of 2014. "We are on the verge of achieving major reform. Today's House vote puts us one step closer to finally enacting a five-year Farm Bill that helps farmers and businesses create jobs across the country and saves taxpayers billions. This bill eliminates unnecessary subsidies, creates a more … Continue Reading


Specialty Crops & Local Food Systems

The 2014 Farm Bill recognizes the diversity of American agriculture and the importance of providing access to healthy foods by strengthening programs that focus on fruits, vegetables and organic crops. Sales of specialty crops total nearly $65 billion per year, and organics are the fastest-growing segment of agriculture, making them a critical part of the U.S. economy and an important job creator. Strengthens Programs for Farmers Producing Specialty Crops The Farm Bill provides disaster reli… Continue Reading


2014 Farm Bill: Addressing Misuse, Protecting Food Assistance

The Agricultural Act of 2014 achieves savings in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) solely by stopping fraud and misuse, while maintaining critical assistance for families. Savings in this section are achieved without removing anyone from the SNAP program, and ensures that every person receives the benefits they are intended to get under the current rules of the program. The 2014 Farm Bill stops lottery winners from continuing to receive assistance, increases program efficienc… Continue Reading


Farm Bill Ends Direct Payment Subsidies

After nearly three years of working to create a 5-year Farm Bill that will reform agriculture policy, end unnecessary subsidies, save billions of taxpayer dollars, and help create American agriculture jobs, Members of Congress in the Senate and House have an agreement on a final bipartisan Farm Bill. Members of both parties have been trying to end direct payment subsidies for decades-and with the 2014 Farm Bill, the era of direct payments will finally come to an end. 2014 Farm Bill Finally En… Continue Reading


House-Senate Negotiators Announce Bipartisan Agreement on Final Farm Bill

House and Senate agriculture leaders today announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a five-year farm bill that will reduce the deficit, grow the economy and provide certainty to the 16 million Americans whose jobs depend on agriculture. The Agricultural Act of 2014 contains major reforms including eliminating the direct payment program, streamlining and consolidating numerous programs to improve their effectiveness and reduce duplication, and cutting down on program misuse. The bill also s… Continue Reading


Chairwoman Stabenow Statement on EPA’s Proposed Biofuel Targets for 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to lower congressionally mandated biofuels targets for 2014. The proposal would set the volumes at under 10 percent of projected gasoline consumption, and pull the rug out from underneath a growing American-made energy sector poised to create thousands of jobs. "The so-called blend wal… Continue Reading


Chairwoman Stabenow Applauds USDA Action to Boost U.S. Beef Exports, Break Down Unfounded Trade Barriers

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded U.S. Department of Agriculture efforts that will help U.S. beef producers increase exports. USDA today announced the final comprehensive BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) rule that will help ensure other countries aren't able to place non-tariff trade barriers on U.S. beef. Chairwoman Stabenow has been part of a bipartisan coalition of Senators urging the Office of Man… Continue Reading


Chairwoman Stabenow Opening Remarks at Farm Bill Conference Meeting

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today delivered the following opening remarks at the first public meeting of the House-Senate Farm Bill conference committee. The meeting officially marks the beginning of the conference committee negotiations between the House and Senate to finalize a 5-year Farm Bill that reduces the deficit by tens of billions of dollars, eliminates billions in subsidies through reforming agriculture polic… Continue Reading


Chairwoman Stabenow Statement on Once Again Requesting Farm Bill Conference with the House, Re-Appointing Senate Conferees

Washington, DC- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the following statement regarding the Senate moving to go to conference with the House on the 2013 Farm Bill. Majority Leader Harry Reid asked for unanimous consent this afternoon to request a conference with the House, with a conferee ratio of seven Democrats to five Republicans. "I'm pleased that the Senate has once again agreed to go to conference wit… Continue Reading

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Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow