Farm bill's wide ranging impact
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 06:35 PM EST
Rochester, N.Y.—The ink is barely dry on the farm bill, but it has already become a polarizing law.
“We’re happy that we have a bill and this is good for New York agriculture, it has some good things in it for the daily and specialty crops,” said Marie Krenzer, co-owner of Krenzer Farms in Chili.
In a statement released prior to President Obama’s Friday signing of the bill at Michigan State University, the New York Farm Bureau praised it.
“The changes to crop insurance should be seen as an investment in maintaining a reliable food supply in this country when disasters strike, while also savings billions of taxpayer dollars,” said Dean Norton, Farm Bureau President.
For all the multi-billion-dollar law does to set farm policy and add to programs, there is a significant cut to food stamps.
“The timing is very bad timing for the farm bill and the changes that are happening,” said Jerome Nathaniel, SNAP Outreach & Assistance Coordinator for Foodlink.
Citing the end of unemployment insurance and an unrelated cut to food stamps in November, Nathaniel expects a significant increase in the referrals received by the area’s sole food bank.
“We used to get about 80 referrals for SNAP assistance, now we’re getting about 100.” added Nathaniel. The increase has taken place since December Nathaniel said.
“It would really hurt my family, I have a son who is 15, who I have to take care of (and) I have to take care of myself,” explained Joan Ferguson.
There are 118,407 residents on food stamps, according to Monroe County records.