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Nervousness over the farm bill

The executive director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association doesn't mince words when it comes to Congress' dealing with the farm bill.

"This farm bill's a mess," said Dan Wogsland. "It's an absolute mess. And it shouldn't be."

Wogsland says farmers are getting very frustrated that Congress has not been able to come to an agreement on farm legislation.

"National security in this country starts with food security," Wogsland said. "Food security starts with a farm bill that works for farmers and consumers. We have to get this done -- and we have to get it done now."

The Senate has passed its version of the farm bill – and has already appointed its conference committee members – which include Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). The House has split the bill into two separate bills – one for farm policy, and the other dealing with nutrition programs, including food stamps.

Hoeven says some things have to happen – once Congress returns from its August recess.

"The House has to vote on its food stamp piece right away," said Hoeven. 'And then the House has to be willing to go to conference either way, whether they pass it or not. They can -- they've passed a farm bill."

Hoeven says it will then be up to conferees to work out a compromise.

"And we will," said Hoeven. "We'll do that in conference, and them get it to the floor for a vote."

Wogsland says he's hopeful -- but not holding his breath.

"They can't agree on coffee in nine days, much less try and get a farm bill done," said Wogsland. "We just can't continue this."

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