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PNS Daily Newscast - August 12, 2020 

Former VP Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; some schools have science-based metrics for open classroom instruction.

2020Talks - August 12, 2020 

California Sen. Kamala Harris will be on the ticket with Joe Biden in November. Four states had primaries yesterday, and two had runoffs. Georgia and Wisconsin appear to have improved since last time.

Farmers Growing Anxious - New Ag Secretary Approved

January 30, 2008

Fergus Falls, MN – Farmers in Minnesota and nationwide are getting increasingly anxious as the growing season nears. Congress hasn't passed a new farm bill, something it's been working on for a year, and the current one expires in two weeks.

Doug Peterson with the Minnesota Farmers Union says farmers need to know the rules.

"Most farmers at this time are into the major planting of their crop. If they're in the southern part of the country, they're already planting the wheat crop. So, the inputs have to be figured out."

He says making the right planting decisions, based on the market and farm policy, can make or break a growing season. If there's no bill on the books by March 15, policy will revert to parts of a 60-year-old agriculture law. He says that if Congress and the White House can't reach a deal, that may be the best option.

The Senate and House have passed separate farm bills, and talks with the White House, which threatens a veto over the bills' costs, are going nowhere. Peterson says everyone's got to give a little.

"Farmers need to know if there's going to be an extension, or a permanent law, or if they're going to get together and stop the saber-rattling in Washington D.C. and actually compromise, and put something that all parties can agree on. "

He says another concern is that, without a farm bill, Congress could decide to take some of the funding already approved and divert it to other areas.

Peterson says he hopes the new Secretary of Agriculture, former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, can help get the farm bill on track. He says Schafer knows the Midwest, and understands the issues.

"Being familiar with the type of crops that we grow and raise in the Midwest is an advantage for this secretary, and also an advantage to our part of the United States. I think we'll have access with him. I think he's a fair man. However, he's going to be part of the administration that has to start coming together on a farm bill, and right now, that's not happening. "

President Bush says Schafer will help pass a fair bill and make sure tax dollars are spent wisely.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN