As 2012 coasted to an end, farmers and ranchers were under great duress as the farm bill was scheduled to expire on January 1st. In the final hours of 2012, much of the farm bill was extended through inclusion in the fiscal cliff negotiations. However, many items were left out.

"The legislation provides no mandatory funding for the energy title, the specialty crop and organic provisions, and beginning farmer and rancher programs among a host of others explains Legislative Specialist for the Montana Farmers Union Chris Christiaens, "but what it does do is it protected food prices from going through the roof which was projected to happen had they not done anything."

Interview with Chris Christiaens:

Christiaens says that efforts are well underway to ensure elements of the farm bill will receive funding from Congress. In Montana, Farmer's union lobbyists are closely watching a number of key bills as they move towards a vote during the upcoming legislative session.