When Sen. Debbie Stabenow sat at the helm of the Senate Committee on Agriculture for the first time in 2011, there was a row of seats filled by ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other Republican senators on her left. Democrats lined up in chairs on the right. Staff filled in all along the back walls of the relatively small, but cozy committee room on the third floor of the Russell building.
When it came time to write a new commodity title for the farm bill, her view could have been described much differently. She was looking at senators from three distinctly different regions: the South, the Midwest, and the upper Great Plains. Each had their own ideas about what farmers in their respective states wanted for risk management. Read the rest of the story here.