WIUM Tristates Public Radio

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President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget proposal is getting a lot of attention for its call for more border protection, but it also makes major changes to agriculture programs.

Without providing many specifics, it outlines a plan to reduce the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget by about $3.6 billion — 15 percent of its total funding. Some programs face cuts, while others get a boost, but it’s all just a proposal at this point and likely won’t survive Congress as-is.

Updated Jan. 22 with Farm Service Agency reopening — The long tentacles of the partial federal government shutdown are reaching especially deep into food and agriculture. Here’s an update on some of the impacts now four weeks into the longest shutdown in history.

Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 with Trump signing legislation — The long-awaited final version of the farm bill was unveiled Monday night, and it hews somewhat closely to the previous piece of massive legislation — aside from legalizing hemp on a national level. 

On a busy football Saturday, fans on both sides of the Iowa-Nebraska line streamed into a tiny grocery store to pick up hamburger, soda and chips.

Store manager Nick Johnson, a third-generation store owner in far southwest Iowa, has long had a front-row seat to the local economy. Times have been tough since the recession, with lots of people losing their manufacturing jobs, though he says that it looks like some of those are coming back. 

And similar to the rest of the country, farm income is down thanks to low crop prices

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the nation’s largest program to reduce hunger. It’s also the biggest program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But under the White House’s plan to reorganize the federal government, released Thursday, SNAP would have a new home at a revamped Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s a challenge for people with severe mental illnesses to hold down a job or get the medical help they need. And that extends to when they try to alleviate hunger by getting on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the biggest federal program aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty that millions of Americans find themselves in — sometimes for a few months, sometimes for several years.

U.S. REP. ROGER MARSHALL'S OFFICE

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it will spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.  The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers -- whether they know it or not.

Years in the Making, New Farm Bill Becomes Law

Feb 7, 2014
Courtesy Stephen Carmody/Michigan Radio

President Barack Obama signed the new farm bill into law Friday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, ending years of negotiations and wrangling.

US Senate Approves Farm Bill

Feb 4, 2014
andrewmalone/Flickr

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.

Discovery.com

It’s getting so close now… Wednesday morning the U.S. House passed the Agriculture Act of 2014, the new farm bill. The Senate is expected to take a preliminary vote Monday, February 3.

Wikipedia

American President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared war on January 8, 1964. However, he was not at war with another nation – he was at war with poverty.

Food Stamps & Healthy Diets

Nov 29, 2013
heritageaction.com

A new study found the federal government’s food stamps program could do more to encourage healthy eating among recipients.

Timing is everything, sometimes. A couple of days after Pope Francis’ interview was published in which the pontiff stressed helping the poor instead of “obsessing” about abortion, birth control and gay issues – the same day the House voted to cut food stamps by $40 billion over 10 years – church readings seemed to address the subject in plain language.

(Were Tea Party types sitting in pews uncomfortable hearing that God notices those “who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor”? Amen.)

Using Food Stamps at IL Farmers Markets

Jun 19, 2013
SSS

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is trying to get more people to take advantage of program designed to encourage low income people to use public assistance to buy fresh and local produce, but there are challenges for residents of Western Illinois who want to use the program.

USDA Cracks Down on Food Stamp Fraud

Feb 26, 2013
http://www.fns.usda.gov (via wikipedia)

The USDA says it’s changing  the rules of its aid program commonly known as “food stamps” to help crack down on fraud.

The agency is expanding its legal definition of “trafficking” to crack down on people exchanging food stamp benefits for cash.