Take a look back at some of the top headlines from the previous week.
President Barack Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 into law Friday at a signing ceremony in Michigan.
Obama praised lawmakers and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for their work on the farm bill, calling it a “Swiss army knife” as he described the provisions within.
The farm bill was a good sign, Obama said, members of congress on both sides of the aisle could work together to get things done.
It is now up to the United States Department of Agriculture to implement the farm bill.
The United States Department of Agriculture plans to establish seven “climate hubs’ across the country to help farmers deal with climate change.
The hubs will be located in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the changing weather patterns are affecting crop and livestock production.
The hubs will help recognize risks and help regions deal with them.
A parasite is being blamed for turning honey bees into zombies. It’s a new threat that is raising concerns across the country.
A beekeeper in New England noticed his bees were acting strange and flying at night, prompting him to send some away for testing.
The zombie bees were created by a parasitic fly that lays eggs in the honey bees’ stomach.
A website was created to track reports of zombie bees in the U.S.
The Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday with a vote of 68-32. During the debate a day before the final vote, both Republican and Democratic senators who backed the bill said it would be vital to provide stability and backing to rural communities. Opponents called it a violation of market principles and loaded with pork barrel subsidies.
Some quotes from the Senate floor debate:
“What’s the farm bill really about? It’s about protecting the well-heeled and the well-connected in the agricultural community,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
“We also went through this bill page by page and made major reforms. We streamlined programs. We’ve cut red tape. We’ve eliminated waste. And the first thing in this bill, page 1 line 1, is repealing direct payments. This is not your father’s farm bill,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
“How are we supposed to restore the American people’s confidence with this monstrosity?” asked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“This bill is important to the farmlands of our country, but it also is good for rural economies. I believe we do right by ourselves when we do right by our rural communities,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
“We create wealth by making sure the risk of capital investment are responsive to market forces. This farm bill is anything but that. There’s no response to market forces because there’s no place else in this country where you can go into a business or enterprise and be guaranteed that your revenue is going to be secure,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
“Failure to enact this farm bill would leave farmers and related businesses with uncertainties that have been hanging over the agricultural sector for the last two years,” said Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.
Rhonda Vincent, who released a new album last month, hasn’t let her music career take her away from her small-town roots.
Vincent addressed those who ask her if her genre is country or bluegrass, something she has dealt with since she was a child and singing with her family.
“There wasn’t a segregation of country or bluegrass. Aunt Katherine would sing like Kitty Wells, grandpa would sing a Bill Monroe song, and mom might sing Loretta Lynn and dad would sing Jimmy Martin. But it was always country music,” she said.
The new album also features Willie Nelson and Daryle Singletary.
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