Farm Bill Uncertainty Impacts Local Farmers & Food Stamp Users - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Farm Bill Uncertainty Impacts Local Farmers & Food Stamp Users

Posted: Updated:

The Farm Bill may be the single most impactful piece of legislation for the state of Montana and its current status in limbo could already be having negative effects on local farmers.

"If I'm a farmer/rancher needing to go to a bank, to a finance firm, to obtain financing for my farm, the bank is very reluctant, not knowing what kind of a program, if any, is going to occur," said Chris Christiaens of the Montana Farmers Union.

Initial funding isn't the only issue.  Farmers may also have trouble with insurance if a disaster destroys their stock.

"So if we have a hail storm, as it sits right now, farmers and ranchers eat that whole thing on their own and if you have pledged your crop for your bank loan, you're facing some pretty dire situations," said Christiaens.

People may not know that the Farm Bill is also the arbiter of the nutrition program, including food stamps.  In the past year, over 127,000 thousand Montanans used food stamps, which is over 12% of the state's population.  That means you may know one of the wide variety of people who need them.

"In Montana, we have different classes of people who are definitely in need of food stamps.  I have a tenant who is a grandmother raising grandchildren.  Without the help of food stamps, she would struggle and would not be able to feed her grandchildren," said Christiaens.

Four to five families a week go homeless in Great Falls.  Nearly 300 students in Great Falls need food assistance at school.  Many elderly on social security can only afford one meal a day.  Most want to help these people, but what about all the people who are taking advantage of the system?  Actually, it happens less than you think.

"The USDA has dealt with this issue of fraud and, overall after the last two years, the percentage nationwide has been about 1%.  So the incidents of fraud are not anywhere near what the public had been lead to believe," said Christiaens.

If you want to have a say in this issue, you're encouraged to contact your Senators and Congressman.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: Fire at Silverwood caused by cigarette

    UPDATE: Fire at Silverwood caused by cigarette

    Friday, August 29 2014 2:35 PM EDT2014-08-29 18:35:38 GMT
    ATHOL, Idaho - After a thorough investigation into the fire that closed a portion of Silverwood Theme Park last weekend, investigators with the Timberlake Fire Protection District say it was most likely an improperly discarded cigarette that started the fire.
    ATHOL, Idaho - After a thorough investigation into the fire that closed a portion of Silverwood Theme Park last weekend, investigators with the Timberlake Fire Protection District say it was most likely an improperly discarded cigarette that started the fire. The fire happened on August 24th, around 2:00pm in a restroom at the Boulder Beach Water park. The water park was evacuated while crews worked to put the flames out. 
  • PHOTOS: Zombies In Downtown Spokane!

    PHOTOS: Zombies In Downtown Spokane!

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-06-11 14:45:30 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - In case you missed the first week of production for "Z Nation" in downtown Spokane, we wanted to share the photos we captured of the Zombies we could see lingering around, outside the KHQ station. Filming for the SyFy network's 'Z Nation' is underway! We sent our photographer Reed Schmitt over to the set to get up close and personal.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - In case you missed the first week of production for "Z Nation" in downtown Spokane, we wanted to share the photos we captured of the Zombies we could see lingering around, outside the KHQ station. Filming for the SyFy network's 'Z Nation' is underway! We sent our photographer Reed Schmitt over to the set to get up close and personal.
  • Mills Canyon burn out planned for Tuesday

    Mills Canyon burn out planned for Tuesday

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 12:58 PM EDT2014-07-15 16:58:49 GMT
    ENTIAT, Wash. - A burn out operation is planned for Tuesday morning in an effort to establish a secure line in the bottom of the canyon where the Mills Canyon Fire is burning. Burning material rolling downhill and igniting spot fires on the north side of Swakane Canyon have caused concerns and indicate a vulnerability to a fire escape and repeatedly expose firefighters to very steep terrain and rolling material.
    ENTIAT, Wash. - A burn out operation is planned for Tuesday morning in an effort to establish a secure line in the bottom of the canyon where the Mills Canyon Fire is burning. Burning material rolling downhill and igniting spot fires on the north side of Swakane Canyon have caused concerns and indicate a vulnerability to a fire escape and repeatedly expose firefighters to very steep terrain and rolling material.
Powered by WorldNow

Sports

  • Sports
  • Community

  • Community
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Max Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.