Understanding the farm bill and its history

Emily Armentrout

On Jan. 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was an extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, commonly known as the “farm bill.” This extension allowed the government to avoid the fiscal cliff, but it expired Sept. 30, 2013. While attempting to pass the next farm bill, the House and the Senate had disagreements over components of their proposed bills. This is the source of the current dispute and the reason a new farm bill has yet to be passed.

The farm bill is a piece of omnibus legislation, which means that it contains multiple components but is passed as a single bill. Farm bills last for five years, after which they expire. Nutrition programs, like SNAP, make up approximately 70 percent of the farm bill. Crop insurance, commodities and conservation make up the other 30 percent of the bill.

The House proposed a new farm bill, known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, which reduced funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by approximately $40 billon, according to Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture. SNAP is commonly referred to as the food stamp program.  The Senate proposed their own version of the bill, in which they want to reduce SNAP funding by roughly $4 billion.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Hartley seeking re-election

Wabash County Prosecuting Attorney William C. Hartley, Jr. has announced that he will be seeking re-election for the Office of Wabash County Prosecuting Attorney during next year’s election.

Mr. Hartley, a Republican, graduated from Southwood High School in 1986 and served four years on active duty in the United States Army, immediately following high school. He served in airborne infantry units at Fort Clayton, Panama, and the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., among other places. He is a graduate of the Army’s Jungle Warfare, Air Assault, and Light Infantry Leader schools.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he attended Indiana University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business, with a major in Accounting. Following his graduation, he worked for a certified public accounting firm in Plymouth, while attending law school at Valparaiso University of Law.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Indiana Corn Growers re-elect President Herb Ringel, focus on ethanol regulations

Herb Ringel, Wabash, was re-elected president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) by the board at its meeting in December.

Also elected were: vice president, Mike Nichols, Rockport; treasurer, George Morton, Lebanon; and secretary, David Gottbrath, Pekin.

The ICGA board works to develop sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana corn farmers and consists of farmer-directors from across the state.

"With the challenges to the Renewable Fuel Standard and lack of movement on the farm bill, it is critical for our lawmakers to hear from Indiana corn farmers on policy that affects how we raise our crops, how we can compete in a global economy and how we build new markets for our corn crop," said Ringel who is in his second term as ICGA president.

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
FSA offers rural youth loans

The Farm Service Agency makes loans to rural youths to establish and operate income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must be planned and operated with the help of the organization advisor, produce sufficient income to repay the loan and provide the youth with practical business and educational experience. The maximum loan amount is $5,000.

Youth Loan Eligibility Requirements:

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
Common Core author to speak in Wabash

Dr. Terrence O. Moore, author of a just released book on Common Core, will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Citizens Committed to the Constitution (C3) on Monday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at Bachelor Creek Church in Wabash.  All teachers, administrators, students, parents, grandparents and interested citizens are encouraged to attend.

What is the Common Core? How will the Common Core English Standards affect the teaching of great stories in our schools? Will there be any great stories left in the minds of our children when the Common Core has controlled the curriculum and testing of both public and private schools for a few years? What are the real purposes behind the educational coup that has taken place with very little public debate and even less understanding?

Posted on 2013 Dec 30
North Manchester covered bridge officially reopened

by Shaun Tilghman

Despite the inclement weather, a large group gathered at the North Manchester Covered Bridge on Friday morning to take part in the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting that marked the bridge’s official reopening. Although Friday was the official reopening, the bridge was actually open to traffic as early as Thursday.

Wabash County Bridge No. 645 (North Manchester Covered Bridge, S. Mill Street over the Eel River) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Smith Bridge Company, from Toledo, Ohio, built the bridge in 1872 for approximately $3,515; the entire structure is built of wood, put together with pins, iron bolts, and square cut nails.

Following the disastrous fire that nearly destroyed the Roann Covered Bridge, the North Manchester Covered Bridge remains the only one in Wabash County with most of the original structure intact. Restoration of this unique bridge was recently undertaken to repair or replace deteriorated truss members, flooring, roofing, and siding in order to extend the life of this structure for future generations to utilize and admire.

Wabash County Commissioners Brian Haupert and Barry Eppley were both pleased with the results of the project. “I feel really good about the project and it turned out really nice,” said Haupert.

Posted on 2013 Dec 23
K&D Resale open for business

by Kalie Ammons

Wabash welcomes another new business this December. K&D Resale, located at 1383 N Cass St behind Mi Pueblo, sells new and used decorative and household items.

Before opening on Dec. 2, Kathy and Dave Stangl, founders of K&D, almost started the company by accident.

“We had the house on the market and we were looking to de-clutter and pack everything away,” said Kathy. “And about a year and a half later we took the house off the market and realized we had 85 boxes of Coke stuff.”

Instead of unloading all of those boxes back into the house, the Stangls took a different approach.

Posted on 2013 Dec 23
Meals on Wheels establishes Endowment at Community Foundation of Wabash County

The Community Foundation of Wabash County and Manchester Meals on Wheels are pleased to announce the creation of the Manchester Meals on Wheels Endowment to support operation of the program that provides low-cost, nutritious meals to homebound, ill, or disabled persons who are unable to prepare or obtain meals, regardless of age or income.

Meal fees, generous donations, and church pledges raised through annual campaigns are the main sources of income for Manchester Meals on Wheels. The endowment will provide an additional revenue source for the program. Contributions to the endowment held by the Foundation will be invested and will produce investment earnings. A portion of the earnings will be used to support Manchester Meals on Wheels programs, not the original contributions. The idea of endowments is that, carefully managed, invested contributions will keep producing and keep building annually, ensuring permanent income for an organization. Among other things, earnings from the endowment will support the Manchester Meals on Wheels scholarship program that assists clients who are unable to afford the cost of daily meals.

Posted on 2013 Dec 23

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