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Farm Bill Workshops Set for Iowa

January 27, 2012

LYON, Neb. - Rural-policy workshops will be held next week in Iowa to discuss what's at stake in the 2012 federal farm bill.

Traci Bruckner, assistant director of rural policy at the Center for Rural Affairs, which is co-hosting the workshops, says the bill contains far more than farm subsidies and crop insurance.

"Farm policy covers everything from value-added agriculture to conservation to things that happen on our rural main streets supporting small businesses, so it's for everybody - farmers, beginning farmers, people in rural communities."

The farm bill also sets policy on nutrition, school lunches, broadband, housing, rural economic development and small-business assistance, Bruckner says. The Women, Food and Agriculture Network is co-sponsoring the workshops.

"They're also interested in conservation and how women land owners can access conservation to improve the stewardship and the natural resources."

Both Iowa's U.S. senators have a presence on the Agriculture Committee, she says, which could give the state more influence on the final farm bill.

The workshops will be held Tuesday at Cornell College in Mount Vernon and Thursday at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA