President Obama signs massive farm bill into law

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February 7, 2014, 7:33 pm
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(NECN: Marnie MacLean, Freeport, Maine) - President Obama signed the massive farm bill into law Friday.  It's a nearly one trillion dollar piece of legislation that took years to negotiate.
                              
The law will provide nearly $150,000,000 to help promote farmers markets across the country.

It will also level the playing field for organic farmers by eliminating a 5% insurance surcharge they had been paying.
                              
Some small family farms in New England say the provision for diversified crop insurance, which covers entire farms and not specific crops, will allow them to access insurance for the first time.
                              
The  bill will also make it easier for some organic farmers to get certified.
                             
In Maine, a start up processing company called Maine Harvest hopes to provide local, frozen produce year round.  

They believe the new law may help them open the doors by providing low interest loans or even grants.

The bill should also allow people who get government food assistance, or SNAP benefits, easier access to fresh food.  

However, at the same time, the new law reduces those benefits by millions of dollars.

Some lawmakers have been critical of that provision.

Tags: maine, marnie, President Obama, Farm Bill, MacLean
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