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Klobuchar: New optimism about farm bill passage

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Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar will travel to the southern part of the state as part of a farm tour to promote the passage of the farm bill.

KBEW in Blue Earth said that she will visit a farmer near Keister on Sunday and continue her tour to stops in Jackson and Clements on Monday. She will be accompanied by Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap.

In an interview on WCCO This Morning on Sunday,

Klobuchar expressed optimism

that the long-stalled farm bill can be approved.

The Associated Press reports that Klobuchar will sit on a House-Senate conference committee that meets Oct. 28 to start work on a compromise package that would govern farm and food policy for the next five years. Klobuchar pointed out that if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, the country will revert to the 1949 farm bill, which she said would cause milk prices to double. She said it lacks language to address crops such as soybeans and has no provisions for conservation and energy programs.

"We would like to get this done and get it done fast," she said.

Besides Klobuchar, two other Minnesotans will serve on the conference committee, Democratic U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz.

The Mankato Free Press reports Walz said he expects the bipartisan nature of the Farm Bill will ensure that a “grand bargain” will emerge.

“I think it is appropriate that the first big thing we work on together (after the shutdown) is a bipartisan law like the Farm Bill,” said Walz.

The Farm Bill has been held up by major points of disagreement. Walz said he will accept compromises on nutrition spending, but will require it to be “at a reasonable level” to vote for it.

President Barack Obama on Thursday listed the farm bill as one of his top three priorities for passage by year's end.

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