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Franken, Klobuchar pleased with Senate Farm Bill passage

WASHINGTON -- Both of Minnesota's Democratic senators voted for the Farm Bill, which had bipartisan support. Both had helped write the bill as members of the Agriculture Committee.

The U.S. House has just taken up its version of the bill and is expected to vote on it later this summer.

The bill includes a Sen. Al Franken-sponsored program to help aid renewable energy projects.

"I'm most proud of an energy provision I wrote -- the Rural Energy for America Program -- which provides grants and loans to Minnesota farmers and rural communities for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects," Franken said in a statement released by his office Thursday. "This is a great bill, and I'm proud of the way farmers and farm groups came together to help us pass this important piece of legislation."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar worked on several provisions in the bill, including one helping beginning farmers and ranchers obtain crop insurance and land for grazing and another helping pork and poultry producers reduce catastrophic losses. She also sponsored a provision authorizing a study of rural transportation and shipping issues related to agriculture.

"Today's bipartisan vote is a victory for this critical legislation that will help preserve and strengthen the farm safety net, conserve our natural resources, and boost homegrown energy," Klobuchar said in a statement from her office. "I will continue to work to move this legislation forward and help strengthen Minnesota's rural communities and ensure our farmers have the support they need to thrive and succeed."

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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