Yesterday, the U.S. Senate approved the conference version of the Farm Bill on a 68-32 bipartisan vote. The House had approved it last week, so all that's left now is for President Barack Obama to sign it, which he reportedly will do on Friday.
Passage followed more than a year of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats, largely over program costs, and how much to cut from the food stamps program.
The bill contains increased funding for specialty crop programs and research, and will now allow multistate grant submissions. This will help with programs to protect, advance and market the nursery industry and other specialty crops.
The bill also directs the USDA to create a long-delayed check-off program to market fresh, natural Christmas trees.Both of Oregon's senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, voted yes on the bill. The OAN deeply appreciates their support and partnership in getting this bill across the finish line, and realizing its importance to the green industry.