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Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, rural development programs and other related agencies would receive nearly $74 billion for fiscal year 2002 under a bill the Senate passed this evening by a vote of 91-5.

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., supported the bill.

"Agriculture is part of our way of life in Wyoming, both from a cultural and economic standpoint. This bill provides resources designed to help keep our ranchers in business," said Enzi. "Some provisions of the bill provide funding for projects that are particularly important to the state."

The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), would receive $500,000 for research in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota on how to add value to livestock through improved utilization of pasture and crop forage. Another $299,000 is provided in the bill to study ways to improve wool production and refinement in Wyoming, Montana and Texas.

Predator control efforts for Wyoming, Idaho and Montana will receive $1 million and $500,00 for rabies control in Wyoming would be allocated under the bill.

Enzi said another important provision of the bill would provide $3.8 million for research on how to keep the U.S. free of the deadly foot and mouth disease. The disease devastated the herds of many British cattle producers and caused worldwide concern.

The Senate version of the agricultural appropriations bill would also provide $200,000 to aid in reporting livestock market information. Enzi said it's important for farmers and ranchers to have access to the information in order to monitor the influenced large packing companies have on the market.

The House passed its version of the agricultural appropriations bill in July. Now the Senate and House will work from both versions to come up with a conference report. The Senate and House will then vote on the conference report before sending the bill to the President for his signature.