Sherrod Brown says farm bill to save taxpayers billions

BUCYRUS -- With more than 16 million jobs tied to agriculture, and with one in seven Ohio jobs related to the food and agriculture industry, Senator Sherrod Brown is debating the 2012 Farm Bill this week in the U.S. Senate.

During a new conference on Wednesday, Brown said provisions he authored in the bill would save taxpayers $23 billion, while creating jobs and boosting rural development. Brown said most of that will not be in Ohio but more in the southern states where large, corporate farms are located.

Brown is the first Ohioan on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years. He chairs its Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation, and said the bill will end the era of paying farmers for crops they do not grow and replace these "direct payments" with a program based on current crop-year data, market prices, and actual yields. The Senate's bipartisan 2012 farm bill represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades, Brown said.

"The farm subsidies programs began in 1930," Brown said. "It's time to limit those to the actual loss of crops due to things like drought or low yield prices year after year."

Brown said one of the main points of the bill would be the boost job creation in Ohio.

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