LITTLE ROCK, AR (KTHV) -- Even if you don't live on a farm, there are several ways the Farm Bill moving through Congress could affect you.
Every five years congress takes a stab at rewriting and passing the farm bill. Dr. Robert Coats a professor and economist with the U of A Agri Science Department stresses the impact the bill will have on Arkansans.
"There are a lot of families in Arkansas that simply need food assistance and there's 80 percent of your farm bill."
That's right, 80 percent of the Farm Bill's budget goes to feed our country's hungry and help the poor. If passed, more than $16 billion will be cut from the nation's food stamp program. And in an effort to lessen the country's deficit, the bill would also cut programs that assist local farmers. Coates says putting more risk on the back of the farmer.
"Our producers are a little bit concerned that while the rest of the world is becoming more protectionist about their agriculture and food sector that maybe the united states is placing them in a very difficult situation. Having to depend on a global market place."
With food and nutrition receiving 80 percent of the funding within the bill, the other 20 percent goes to row crop conservation, rural development and forestry. Coats say those are all huge components to the economic state of Arkansas.
"Agriculture is far more important to overall economic activity in Arkansas than it is in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma as a percent to gross domestic product."
With the bill already through the senate and house committee, the plate of the future relies on congress.
"All countries will protect their agriculture food sector and justifiably so. The only debate you can have about it is, to what degree their going to protect."
The old Farm Bill expires on October 1 and with Congress just two weeks away from its August recess, lawmakers are working overtime to make sure this legislation actually passes before the last minute.