This week lawmakers were working to craft the next farm bill.
The current bill expires next year and today Senators called many of its programs outdated.
Eric Halverson is a fourth generation potato farmer and c-e-o of Black Gold Farms.
Most of his potatoes are sold overseas.
“Japan is our number one market, followed by Canada and Mexico.”
Halverson gets help from a federal program that encourages international trade.
It’s called the U.S. Market Access Program.
It’s one of 39 federal programs that could lose funding at the end of the fiscal year.
Without it, Halverson says, he’s out of business.
Right now lawmakers are deciding which programs to keep, and which ones to get rid of in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Senator Pat Roberts is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
He says, “We have our work cut out for us with this next reauthorization. we will need to find ways to do more with less.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the budget is $71 billion smaller.
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow acknowledged that money will be tight, but reassured farmers like Halverson that supporting international trade will be the Senators’ top priority.
“The farm bill should continue to help all of our producers do what they do best, put food on our tables here and around the world.”