Fifth generation dairy farmer Steve Chapman knows is all too well his livelihood is tied to the mercy of Mother Nature.
In recent years, that has meant enduring a drought, high feed cost, and low milk prices.
"It's been pretty tough for most dairy farmers," said Chapman.
At the same time, he and other farmers have had to deal with a force that has nothing to do with nature.
"I really don't think they have any idea what goes on on the farm," said Chapman.
The Barry County farmer is referring to the legislators in Washington. Now it appears, though, the long fight over federal dairy subsides is coming to an end with a compromise farm bill.
The House on Wednesday passed a measure that would, in part, get rid of the current program that pays farmers if the price of milk dips below a certain level.
The problem was it didn't consider their costs; when the cost of doing business spiked, farmers were left in lurch to make a profit.
"We made major reforms that eliminate things that don't work and strengthen things that do.," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman Senate Committee on Agriculture.
The new farm bill would get rid of the old program and instead opt for subsidized insurance that would pay farmers when the difference between milk and feed prices grew too small.
For farmers who've been hit hard in recent years, the plan is leaving many feeling optimistic.
"Being able to insure your milk at different levels you can kind of pick how much you want to spend to get the level of coverage that you want," said Chapman. "I think it will just be a lot better of a program than we had before."
The Senate could take up the Farm Bill as early as Thursday. The White House has indicated the president will sign the measure, if it reaches his desk.