Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts speak to the crowd at a field hearing on the Farm Bill in Manhattan, Kan. (Bryan Thompson for Harvest Public Media)
Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts speak to the crowd at a field hearing on the Farm Bill in Manhattan, Kan. (Bryan Thompson for Harvest Public Media)

At a stressful time for U.S. farmers, the government’s efforts at calming the agricultural waters took center stage Thursday, when the heads of the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee left Washington for the Midwest to solicit opinions on priorities for the next Farm Bill.

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, heard from Midwest farmers at their first field hearing on the 2018 Farm Bill at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Kansas Association of Wheat Growers President Kenneth Wood cited the destruction of his farm near Chapman, Kansas, last year as an example of why the federal crop insurance program needs to be protected.

“For most of us, crop insurance will not guarantee a good year, but it offers the promise of another year,” Wood said.

The Green Plains Energy ethanol plant near Central City, Nebraska (File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)
The Green Plains Energy ethanol plant near Central City, Nebraska (File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

The Trump Administration is voicing its support for the ethanol industry, but without specifics it is hard to say what that means exactly for Midwest farmers.

In a letter to industry leaders gathered at the National Ethanol Conference, President Donald Trump said renewable fuels “are essential to America’s energy strategy.”

The president wrote that he aims to reduce the regulatory burden on the renewable fuels industry, but did not detail specific plans.

“All The President’s Men” was published in 1974.
“All The President’s Men” was published in 1974.

Over here at Harvest Public Media, we may not have Deep Throat. But we do have Undercover Cowboy.

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