Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - March 13

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The recently negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement should be coming to Congress for action very soon. That's because President Trump said last Friday that he will send the deal to Capitol Hill. When he does, Congress will then have 90 days to approve or reject the deal without being able to make any changes to the document. Congressional observers say it'll probably be later this year before either house votes on the deal.

More and more is coming out about the cuts in agriculture spending that the President has proposed in his fiscal year 2020 budget. Overall the cuts would amount to 15% for agriculture while the rest of the budget for non-defense spending would be cut by 5%. Besides cuts to crop insurance, his plan would force cuts to some conservation plans, eliminate a forage disaster program and change provisions for the food assistance programs. Many of those proposed cuts were rejected last year by Congress when they wrote the 2018 Farm Bill-when Republicans had the majority in both Houses of Congress.

UW-River Falls officials are excited about the upcoming renovation of their on- campus Dairy Pilot Plant. The project is a $2.44 million makeover of the plant that's been in use since the 1980s. Following the makeover of the plant, 60 to 75 students will be able use the lab with 25 getting part time jobs in the facility. Those jobs will be processing raw milk into cheese and ice cream from mostly donated equipment from other areas of the dairy industry. Dale Gallenberg, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, said the last piece of funding came about a month ago when the State Building commission approved an additional $500,000 for the project. Most of the products produced in the lab will be sold at the campus dairy store, Freddie's Dairy Bar under the Falcon Food Products label.

If you missed on the chance to buy a piece of farmland once owned by Abe Lincoln, there's still a chance to buy a ranch owned by another famous American. A 2,971 acre ranch once owned by Bing Crosby is going up for sale. The ranch is located near Elko, Nevada and has a price tag of $7.3 million. Crosby bought it in the 1940's and the ranch has some of the oldest water rights in Nevada. The ranch is currently used as a bed and breakfast.