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Rep. Blunt Rochester to help draft 2018 Farm bill

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester said she’s concerned about possible budget cuts in the 2018 Farm Bill. She has been visiting farms around the state ahead of drafting legislation next year.

Every five years, the Farm Bill funds everything from nutrition and food safety to preventing animal disease and conserving natural resources for about 5 years. The 2014 bill expires next September.

Blunt Rochester is on the House Committee on Agriculture. She said she’s listening to farmers and business people in the state on what the legislation should include.

“We’re gathering information to find out what kind of supports do farmers need," she said. "Everything from crop insurance to looking at things like nutrition programs and how SNAP will be funded.”

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, helps more than 40 million Americans afford food. The Trump administration has proposed slashing $190 billion in funding for the program over the next decade.

Rochester said she wants to make sure the government programs Delawareans depend on aren’t cut.

“What we really hope is we don’t lose ground because there’s been a lot of cuts to the budget," she said. "And so, one of our goals is to be able to maintain you know the status of where things stand right now. But we’re also looking for creative ideas.”

The 2014 farm bill cut $8 billion from SNAP after an attempt to cut $40 billion failed mostly along party lines.

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