The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 7, 2013

Farmers eye bill's passage


“I’m not predicting, but I’m hopeful that we can actually get a bill now and get it to the floor and at least have some semblance of that rural, urban combination of forces and political forces that we have had for several decades,” Loebsack said. “But I’m not at all convinced that it’s ever going to happen again past this year.”

Clinton County Farm Bureau President Joe Dierckx concurred with Loebsack’s vision to pass unified piece of legislation.

“I believe, too, that having the nutrition in with the farm is important so we can have a coalition. Our town brethren can benefit from the farm bill being passed and farmers can, too,” Dierickx said.

While he avoided making any predictions about when the bill would be passed, Loebsack said he hoped it would happen before Thanksgiving. Farmers pointed out the Farm Bill has far reaching effects that stretch beyond rural areas. They also pointed out not passing the $500 billion piece of legislation could have devastating effects such as $6 a gallon milk prices.

“I think you could make the argument that the farm bill portion is reducing costs for everybody,” Elvira-area farmer Curt Allen said.

Farmers also urged for the amendment proposed by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, which attempts to stop states such as California from barring goods from other states based on how they are produced.

At issue specifically are eggs laid in battery cages, which concerns the farm bureau members because of the amount of eggs produced in such a way in Iowa, a portion of which go to California.

The “King Amendment” has sparked a debate among several groups about states’ rights, the commerce clause and animal rights.

Dierckx argued California’s ban would harm the people that the nutritional programs at the heart of the Farm Bill debate are set to help because of the higher cost associated with free-range eggs.

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