PNS Daily Newscast - July 14, 2020 

The Trump administration issues talking points challenging health expert Fauci; Latinos challenge voting system in Washington State.

2020Talks - July 14, 2020 

Maine has its statewide primaries today; Texas and Alabama have primary runoffs. And lawsuits abound against the White House's new ICE rule, threatening to deport international students taking only online courses.

New Bill Could Be Breath of ‘FRESH’ Air for Colorado

October 24, 2007

Washington, D.C. – Colorado's farmers could use a "FRESH" approach to farm policy. That's the word from a diverse set of groups supporting the new Farm, Ranch, Energy, Stewardship and Health Act, or "FRESH." Besides help for family farms, the bill includes billions for nutrition programs, conservation and renewable energy programs. Gina Villani with the National Urban League says that's good news for all.

"Funding of the FRESH Act is a win-win for urban areas and farmers. We wholeheartedly support it at the National Urban League."

John Frydenlund, of the group Citizens Against Government Waste, says the bill is the best chance for reforming farm policy by phasing out direct payments. He says they benefit mostly large producers at the expense of family farms.

"When these direct payments were originally created back in the 1996 Farm Bill, they were meant to be transition payments that would decline over time, not turned into another entitlement program for the wealthiest farmers."

Scott Faber, of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, agrees the current system of payments for crops was originally intended to be a safety net for farmers, but that's not the current reality.

"The system is really more akin to a security blanket than a safety net."

The FRESH Act proposes moving from a system of automatic payments to an insurance-based safety net that would be available to all growers, as well as ranchers. Supporters of current direct payments say they keep consumer prices low. The Senate Agriculture Committee is set to vote on the new Farm Bill today.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - CO