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Senator Gillibrand optimistic about farm bill passage

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LOWVILLE — U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand said Friday she believes a compromise farm bill will be passed this year.

“I’m optimistic it will work out,” Sen. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said during a stop at Tug Hill Vineyard, Yancey Road. “People believe in our farmers.”

However, she added that the final legislation will need to address the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or food stamps, despite the House of Representatives removing the program from its version of the bill amidst consideration of funding cuts.

“For the Senate to pass the bill, it will have to include nutrition,” Mrs. Gillibrand said.

However, what has passed thus far should be enough to hold a conference between members of both the House and Senate that could reconcile differences and come up with a compromise bill palatable to the majority in both chambers, she said.

Mrs. Gillibrand said it will be important to come up with a “comprehensive bill” that will not only aid farmers but also continue to assist needy families, including veterans.

“We need to make sure they have enough to feed their kids,” she said.

It behooves federal leaders to come up with a bipartisan farm bill, given that agriculture is a “big business” and vital part of the country’s economy, Sen. Gillibrand said.

An extension of the current farm bill approved in 2008 expires at the end of September.

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