Politics

Oct 23, 2013 10:53 AM by Claire Anderson - MTN News

Baucus spends workday on farm near Fort Benton

FORT BENTON - U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) conducted his 97th workday, where he gets an opportunity to do someone else's job, but Baucus wasn't there to just dig in the dirt, he was there to push a major piece of legislation.

Baucus said, "It was great to get out on any farm because you're outdoors, second it's a gorgeous day, we saw some pheasants, and also spend a good bit of time with the guy operating the combine."

Baucus rode "shotgun" harvesting corn and talked shop with farmers, including Charles Lenington.

"I was surprised and excited, I guess, to have one of the state politicians out here and kind of learn what the farmers do," said Lenington.

Baucus sits on the committee which is tasked with getting a farm bill passed.

Several months ago, the U.S. House of Representatives split the farm bill into two pieces, separating the food stamps program from the agricultural subsidies.

Baucus said, "The two programs have always been very closely linked, and they help each other."

Baucus wants to see Congress pass a comprehensive Farm Bill to help what he says is an estimated 120,000 Montanans and thousands of farmers who depend on the bill.

Lenington stated, "For a starting farmer like me, it's very important, I mean, if I wouldn't have gotten a hail insurance check this year, it wouldn't be very good. I wouldn't be able to cover my input costs."

Baucus hopes that Congress can get a bill to the President's desk so farmers will have some certainty.

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