Delegation vows fight over dairy subsidy

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Vermont’s congressional delegation plans to fight the Bush administration’s opposition to the $286 billion farm bill.

The bill includes expansion of the federal subsidy for dairy farmers. It also authorizes spending to promote artisan cheese making, repairs to historic barns and help for stressed-out farmers.

Conservatives, taxpayer advocates and the Bush administration have criticized the bill as too expensive.

Senator Patrick Leahy is one of two senators behind the cheese provision, which authorizes congressional spending committees to pay for the promotion of artisan, or handmade, cheese.

Vermont is home to the greatest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita in the United States.

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