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CHEYENNE – U.S. Senator Craig Thomas says Congress should resist a “one-size-fits-all” when considering future changes to the federal farm program.

Thomas said he would like to see local livestock needs addressed as opposed to a blanket policy. He also said the new farm program should support opening fair export markets, provide conservation technical assistance, and help in dealing with stringent new federal regulations.

“In Wyoming, more than 70 percent of our agriculture economy is based on livestock, largely in cattle and sheep production,” Thomas told the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. “This is a more than $1 billion dollar a year industry in my state that has been through a lot and continues to fight drought and unfair trade barriers.”

He said the sheep and wool industry has been battered by one of the worst price cycles in history. Prices have fallen from 70 cents a pound in 1996, to their current price of 33 cents a pound.

The farm bill comes up for reauthorization before Congress every five years, with the next authorization slated for 2002.

Thomas is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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