The chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee plans to lead oversight hearings over all 12 titles of the farm bill before beginning to write the next one.

Speaking on this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says it's important that farm bill programs be reviewed before beginning the process of developing the next bill.

“We're methodically going to be doing that in the next few weeks and getting input, and then we will begin the process of looking at [what] we want to do, what we have the dollars to do, and how we can put together a bipartisan coalition,” said Stabenow. 

The chairwoman says she hopes to get the next farm bill passed through Congress and on the President’s desk by Sept. 30, which is when the previous farm bill's authorization ends, but that “it is not at all surprising if [Congress] extend[s] the current farm bill a few months” due to the situation in the House, where a small group of Republicans is seeking drastic cuts in federal spending.

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“We know because of the timeline and all the complexity of everything going on [and] the challenges in the House that [it] may take a little bit longer, but we're committed to getting it done," Stabenow said. "I'm absolutely committed to making sure we will move as quickly as we can in a way that is responsible.” 

Stabenow also discussed some of her top priorities for the next farm bill, which includes strengthening "support for small towns and rural communities" to encourage young adults to come back after college and make rural communities their home.

Tara Smith with the Torrey Advisory Group and Rob Larew with the National Farmers Union also joined this week’s show to further discuss farm bill challenges and priorities. Watch this week's show here

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