Tester seeks input on 2012 Farm Bill


by Beth Saboe

MISSOULA- Senator Jon Tester stopped in Missoula Monday to talk about a new food safety bill expected to become law Tuesday.

Tester helped craft the Food Safety Modernization Act, which gives the Food and Drug Administration more power to establish and enforce food safety standards. Now, Tester is turning his focus to the 2012 Farm Bill to find out what works and what doesn't.

At Monday's roundtable, local producers and farm advocates told Tester that small farmers need more funding. Tester agreed, saying he wants to maximize the money available by putting it into the hands of the producers on the ground.

"We're going to be dealing with a much tighter budget this time around. The economy is starting to pick up, you're going to see things start to tighten up so the money we invest, particularly in things like the Farm Bill, it's going to be critically important that that money does the best it can do on the ground to help move the economy forward and help create jobs," said Tester.

Senator Tester heads back to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and Congress reconvenes on Wednesday.