Farm Politics

By Adam Chick

October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Congress has failed to put a Farm Bill in place for the first time in more than 60 years.

The Farm Act sets subsidies for everything from crop insurance to milk production, and it has expired as of October 1.

Farm Act legislation did pass in the Senate, but it has since stalled in the Republican-majority House.

Democrat candidate for Congress Dan Lamb blames the Republicans for this bill not passing.

"This particular program is particularly painful to upstate New York. Dairy farmers, which we know are struggling right now... We've lost about a quarter of our dairy farms in the last 10 years in New York. This is the wrong time to be arguing about what has always been a nonpartisan issue," said Lamb.

Lamb says Republicans like Richard Hanna could have done a lot more for America's farmers to get a bill pushed through.

"Richard Hanna could have been on the discharge petition for that bill. About 70 members were on that, but he refused to even do that," said Lamb.

Democratic candidate for Broome County Executive Tarik Abdelazim met with local farmers to discuss what he could do for them, should he be elected.

"You have a lot of raw products that our farmers are producing but they don't have the opportunity to create value added products. And that's something that's missing. So if we have a county executive that's making a commitment to agriculture the first thing I'll be doing is looking to build the processing infrastructure that will really make Broome County the hub of healthy foods in the entire Southern Tier," said Abdelazim.

Farmers at the Abdelazim gathering said they are growing more nervous each day that passes without a bill.

"I am happy to return to Washington to get this done before the election or immediately after. New York farmers, especially our dairy and specialty crop producers, deserve a debate and vote on this bill," said Congressman Richard Hanna (R).

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