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Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Most Harvest Public Media stories begin with radio- regular reports are aired on member stations in the Midwest. But Harvest also explores issues through online analyses, television documentaries and features, podcasts, photography, video, blogs and social networking. They are committed to the highest journalistic standards. Click here to read their ethics standards.Harvest Public Media was launched in 2010 with the support of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Today, the collaboration is supported by CPB, the partner stations, and contributions from underwriters and individuals.Tri States Public Radio is an associate partner of Harvest Public Media. You can play an important role in helping Harvest Public Media and Tri States Public Radio improve our coverage of food, field and fuel issues by joining the Harvest Network.

US Senate Approves Farm Bill


The US Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.

The legislation is expected to become law, as President Obama previously indicated he would sign the measure. The House passed it Jan. 29.

The new farm bill makes cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. It also does away with direct payments subsidies, making crop insurance the bedrock of the federal farm safety net.

Direct payments to farmers – fixed government payments that don’t take crop performance or planting into account – were controversial. They cost about $4.5 billion annually, and were sometimes referred to derisively as “welfare for farmers.” The new farm bill would channel most of that money toward expanding the government-subsidized crop insurance program.

Cuts to the SNAP budget proved the most divisive element of drafting a new farm bill. House Republicans had wanted $40 billion in cuts over ten years. Senate Democrats advocated for $4 billion. The compromise legislation drawn up by the conference committee charged with negotiating the differences between House and Senate bills includes cuts to the program’s budget of about $8 billion over ten years. 

The farm bill also makes significant changes to conservation policy, dairy policy and includes expanded safety net programs for livestock industries.