The Associated Press recently provided an update on the debate surrounding the federal farm bill, which the U.S. House of Representatives unexpectedly defeated in June (See our June 24, 2013, blog post for more information). The farm bill expired at the end of September, and the House and Senate versions vary in their approaches to funding the decade-old Agriculture Department's Rural Energy for America Program, which is helping farms and small businesses across rural America turn to renewable energy. "The House version of the farm bill limits the program's funding to $45 million a year and designates it as 'discretionary,' meaning the program might or might not get it. The Senate version would provide $68 million annually in mandatory funds with a possible $20 million a year in discretionary money," the article said. For more, read the full story.