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Lawmakers to begin negotiations on farm bill this week

Despite the recent turmoil created during the government shutdown, progress has finally been made on the long awaited farm bill. The 5-year agreement could change things like the cost of milk and food stamp guidelines for people around the nation.
Nedrow (WSYR-TV) -- Despite the recent turmoil created during the government shutdown, progress has finally been made on the long awaited farm bill.

The five year agreement could change things like the cost of milk and food stamp guidelines for people around the nation.

"We've been operating on a 2008 farm bill that has been extended and that's become outdated in some areas," said Brian Luton, owner of Stones Throw Farm.

But after several delays, lawmakers say the new farm bill could stabilize crop insurance, milk pricing, and modify food stamp guidelines. Organic farmer Brian Luton says its long overdue.

"As economy changes and commodity prices evolve its important to have a bill that reflects that," said Luton.

Luton says another new addition called the Food Safety Modernization Act, will change our food safety laws for the first time since the 1930s.

While some farmers are worried about unfair regulations, Luton thinks its a step in the right direction.

"Get something started for small farms and large farms alike. Its important, it'll help ensure that consumers are confident in their food supply," said Luton.

Congressman Richard Hanna, a large supporter in moving this bill forward, says dairy farmers specifically can expect to see some long-awaited changes.

"A lot of the arcane rules in milk pricing are left over from 1934. Those rules will be taken away. They will update the entire system for milk pricing, allowing people to opt into insurance or opt out and I think people will be pleased," said Hanna.

The House and Senate will be meeting this week to start the next round of negotiations.

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