by Pat Malin
HUBBARDSVILLE, NY — When asked about Congress’s handling — or lack thereof, of the Farm Bill, New York State Farm Bureau director Darrell Griff let out a deep sigh.
“How can you get politics figured out?” Griff replied during a visit to neighboring Endless Trails Farm in August.
Griff was visiting Endless Trails for two reasons: to get an update on the Farm Bill directly from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and to promote the new Side Hill Farmer’s Cooperative Market in Manlius.
It’s been exasperating, he admitted, to follow the snail-like pace of the bill. A five-year Farm Bill was passed by the U.S. Senate in June, but the House of Representatives came up with its own watered-down counterpart which has only complicated passage of the new legislation.
Now Congress is in summer recess, so the two sides will try to negotiate a compromise measure when the representatives return to their desks in September.
Griff, who raises pigs and beef cattle on a 70-acre farm in Hamilton, Madison County, wonders how long it will take Congress to reach an agreement. “A lot of farmers are concerned about next year. How can you operate when you don’t know the rules of the game?” Continue reading
by Pat Malin