Yesterday there was a flurry of activity in the Senate as they voted on a number of amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill. If you have been following the Farm Bill saga to date, you know that the Michigan Rural Council has issued multiple calls to action related to pieces of the Farm Bill, specifically the Rural Development funding and Value Added Producer Grants. And the good news as shared yesterday by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is:

We are delighted to report that the U.S. Senate today passed an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill providing $150 million in critical funding for rural economic development and new farmer programs.  The amendment, introduced and championed by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), was approved on a 55-44 vote, with Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in support.

This is great news as it includes funding for programs including the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Programs, Value Added Producer Grants and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). These programs are utilized by MRC members across the state of Michigan.

For a complete rundown of amendments included in yesterday’s voting, read the NSAC’s blog post. More amendments are scheduled to be considered today, June 20, and the House of Representatives is expected to release their draft of the Farm Bill as early as next week.

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