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San Diego Farmers to Benefit from Farm Bill

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Politics played a role in locking up benefits for California and San Diego in the new farm bill approved last week. KPBS reporter Erik Anderson has details.  

The legislation does something no farm bill has ever done. It sets aside money to help farmers who grow specialty crops. That's everything from avocados to cut flowers. Eric Larson is the local Farm Bureau chief. He says lawmakers reached out to California in an effort to get the nearly year-overdue legislation passed. They rounded up support by adjusting subsidies for the big commodity crops.
Eric Larson: They also had to increase money for nutrition and for programs for a place like California to get the broad-based support. I guess that the measure of that is how the Senators and members of Congress voted and they accomplished that.
As a result, San Diego farmers will be able to tap into the federal budget.  He says the funding could begin soon because the farm bill was supposed to take effect in 2007. Erik Anderson, KPBS News

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