Mar 082017
 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has changed the lives of many previously uninsured Americans who can now find affordable healthcare, either as a result of the programs being offered through the government-run marketplace, or through private insurance plans. The ACA provides income-based premium subsidies to those who purchase their own insurance through the marketplace. The groups who benefit the most from the ACA are those who were previously discriminated against and the most vulnerable of society including low-income families and seniors. At least 20 million more Americans now have health insurance than before passage of Obamacare. Criticisms of the ACA include rising costs for young males, higher numbers of uninsured in states that did not expand Medicare, and increased cost for those who lost their health care benefits from insurers not in compliance with the ACA standards.

Pending legislation: S.191 – Patient Freedom Act of 2017

 Posted by at 8:49 am
Mar 082017
 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has changed the lives of many previously uninsured Americans who can now find affordable healthcare, either as a result of the programs being offered through the government-run marketplace, or through private insurance plans. The ACA provides income-based premium subsidies to those who purchase their own insurance through the marketplace. The groups who benefit the most from the ACA are those who were previously discriminated against and the most vulnerable of society including low-income families and seniors. At least 20 million more Americans now have health insurance than before passage of Obamacare. Criticisms of the ACA include rising costs for young males, higher numbers of uninsured in states that did not expand Medicare, and increased cost for those who lost their health care benefits from insurers not in compliance with the ACA standards.

Pending legislation: S.191 – Patient Freedom Act of 2017

 Posted by at 8:48 am
Jan 152015
 

Dairy farming is the primary agricultural business in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Vermont and New Hampshire, among others. More than 51,000 dairy farms provide milk, cheese and yogurt to our people as well as those in other countries. About 97% of all dairy farms are family owned, and about 75% of these farms have fewer than 100 cows. Even so, large farming concerns with more than 100 cows produce 85% of our milk. Many of these small and medium-sized family dairy operations are currently experiencing economic hardship. The reasons for this are the increasing costs of producing milk, including feed and transportation, and the low price paid to farmers for the raw milk they send to market. Some say the supply of milk has outpaced its demand. These conditions leave slim margins for dairy farmers and it is estimated they receive only about 30 cents of every retail dollar spent on milk. Dairy farmers are mostly happy with the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the farm bill, which addressed many of their concerns. This bill retains the basics of the former Dairy Price Support Program, which takes into account the selling price of milk and the cost of feeding livestock, as the measure by which support for dairy farms is calculated. The bill also allows dairy farmers to purchase margin protection insurance depending on how much protection they need and the amount of milk they produce, with lower premiums for smaller producers.

Pending Legislation:

S.605 – Dairy Income Fairness Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current dairy farm policy and wish to defeat S.605

I support establishing a dairy production margin protection program under which participating dairy operations are paid basic production margin protection program payments when production margins are less than threshold levels; and supplemental production margin protection program payments if purchased by a participating dairy operation, and wish to pass S.605

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

There are now nearly 2 million American farms, 80% of which are small farms that are mostly family owned. An increasing number of these farmers are selling their products directly to the public through local food markets such as farmers markets, farm stands, food cooperatives and Community Support Agriculture programs. There are now nearly 8,000 farmers markets throughout the U.S. and our Agriculture Department estimates that local food sales now account for at least $5 billion annually. Local and regional agriculture has become a major economic driver in the farm economy, benefitting many small of our farmers. Consumers, including school districts, may now purchase fresh, organically-grown produce at reasonable cost. Supporters promote the fact that fruits and vegetables sold within 24 hours of being harvested are fresher, more nutritious and taste better than produce which has been shipped from distant locations.

Pending Legislation:

S.679 & H.R.1414 – Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current local farm policy and wish to defeat S.679 & H.R.1414

I support assisting consumers by improving access to healthy food and direct retail markets; improving SNAP (food stamp) participant access to farmers markets, providing more secure funding for critically important programs that support family farms, expanding new farming opportunities, and wish to pass S.679 & H.R.1414

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

There are currently about 2 million farms in our country. Less than 1 in 4 of these farms produce gross revenues in excess of $50,000. About 87% of all farms are owned and operated by individuals and families, while 8% are partnerships, and 4% are corporate farms. The term “family farm” does not necessarily equate with a small farm, nor does a “corporate farm” necessarily mean a large-scale operation owned and operated by a multinational corporation. Many of our country’s largest agricultural enterprises are family owned. Small farms are considered those with annual sales less than $250,000. Despite the predominance of these small farms, there is strong evidence of a trend toward concentration in our nation’s agricultural production. In 2007, fewer than 190,000 farms accounted for 63% of all agricultural product sales. Our most recent census showed a 4% increase in new farms, the first such increase since 1920. Most of this increase is attributed to young, educated Americans entering the farming occupation.

Pending Legislations:

S.837 & H.R.1727 – Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current small farm policy and wish to defeat S.837 & H.R.1727

I support reducing the number of operating years required for a beginning farmer or rancher to qualify for a direct real estate loan; extending conservation loan and loan guarantee authority, and reserve specified amounts for beginning farmers and ranchers; extending the beginning farmer and rancher individual development accounts pilot program; authorizing micro loans for beginning farmers or ranchers; making the direct operating loan set-aside for beginning farmers and ranchers permanent, and wish to pass S.837 & H.R.1727

 Posted by at 12:00 am