Dairy Farmers Say Business is Tough, Need Help from Farm Bill

Windthorst is known for it's dairy industry.

But right now many dairy owners say they are in jeopardy of losing their way of life.

Unless a new Farm Bill passes that could help save their industry before they are forced to sell out.

Adam Wolf is a fourth generation dairy farmer.

It's an industry he says is the beating heart of his hometown of Windthorst.

But it's also an industry that's been difficult to keep flowing.

"I can't plan, I can't budget, I have no clue what prices are going to be next month," said Wolf.  

He says that's partly because his operating costs have risen.

And things like ethanol have made the price of feed go up.

But there is one bill Wolf says could greatly help his operation.

The only problem is it hasn't passed in congress in the last 5 years.

And the Oklahoma Farm Bureau says it could be a scary thing if the farm bill doesn't pass by the end of September.

"Dairy prices go through the roof, we loose a lot of the safety net, we lose a lot of the assurances that we have out there," said John Collison, the Vice President of Public Policy. 

And for people like Wolf, that could mean having to sacrifice their livelihood.

"Families that work hard, families that do everything right, they just can't make it work and they have to sell out," Wolf said. 

Which is why the Oklahoma Farm Bureau says there needs to be a final push to get this bill passed.

"Under these programs of safety nets and crop insurance we need to be able to look into the future and see what it looks like," Collison said.

Currently House Republican leaders are considering splitting the bill into two separate ones.

One for the farm programs and another for food stamps. 

They say they could make the farm portion pass without the food stamps, but Democrats are reluctant.

Democrats say splitting the bills would create bigger problems as the senate would have less of an incentive to vote for either piece of legislation.

If no Farm Bill is passed before the end of September agriculture rules will revert to the ones set in 1949, which was crafted in a different time with smaller crop production and higher consumer prices.

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