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Area Farmers Wait for Action on Stalled Farm Bill

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- As farmers and their families flood the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds for this years Farm Fest, some feel the people in Washington are playing politics with their lives and livelihood.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- As farmers and their families flood the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds for this years Farm Fest, some feel the people in Washington are playing politics with their lives and livelihood.

Congress has failed to pass a Continuing Resolution to extend the Farm Bill and now the government shutdown threatens farm program payments for crops planted this year. Some say lawmakers are letting down the nation and the farmers.

On this warm fall day for those celebrating farm fest, the politics in Washington isn't far from their minds.

"I think the farmers's bill is probably needing to be passed in the government but whether they will do it in a manner in which it is going to help the farmers, that I don't know," says retired farmer John Le Compte.

Le Compte says farmers no longer hold the sway they once did in Washington.

"50 years ago we had a big say so in the government it was the largest corporation in the world," says Le Compte. "Now it's the smallest."

Retired Dairy Farmer Ron De Long deals now in much more lucrative beef cattle.

"The beef market is pretty good right now," says De Long.

De Long says dairy farmers just can't seem to catch a break as they dwindle in numbers and the price of milk threatens to rise. And the politics in Washington, he says, isn't doing them in any favors.

"We need to keep dairy farmers in our country," says De Long. "It brings in a tremendous amount of money to southwest Missouri and if we don't get a good enough bill to keep dairy farmers alive we're going to lose them all and that's a lot of money in this country."

KOLR10 called the local USDA office to find out what other impact there might be on area farmers, but they are closed because of the shutdown and their workers furloughed

Many farmers remain unsure of just how this ongoing shutdown and lack of continuing resolution on the farm bill will affect them.
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