AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. The Farm Bill is major legislation that authorizes many government food assistance, conservation, energy, trade, marketing, farm support and rural development programs over several years. Over 70-percent of the farm bill goes towards nutrition assistance programs.

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act was signed in 2008 and many of the provisions in that bill will expire in September 2012.

Today's hearing begins at 9am at Fresno City Hall.

Experiments on ornamental plants may offer clues about how to combat a fatal disease of citrus trees.

U.S. Agriculture Department researchers say their work with Periwinkle plants has uncovered potential treatments for the disease known as citrus greening. Field trials may soon be conducted on the treatments.

The disease has hit Florida citrus groves. It has not been found in California, though an insect that can carry it has been trapped here.

Interest is soaring in a program that connects volunteers with farmers across the country.

About 9,000 people have joined a group called "Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms U.S.A.". It pairs volunteers with nearly 1,200 farms and ranches that need a helping hand. Farmers get much-needed help and only need to provide meals and a bed for the volunteer.

The volunteer farm hands learn more about rural life and the work that goes into the food they eat.

The U.S. program is linked to an international effort, operating in more than a dozen other countries.

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