Noem Advances Farm Bill Reforms at Dakotafest, Drives Forward Tax Reform and Trade Proposals
South Dakotans weigh in on proposals
Mitchell, S.D. – During today’s congressional forum at Dakotafest, Rep. Kristi Noem heard from South Dakota producers about three critical Farm Bill proposals she’s offered. The Fair CRP Payment Act, DRY Act, and Wetland Determinations Efficiency and Transparency Act each aim to make the Farm Bill work better for South Dakota farmers and ranchers.
“Every farmer and rancher knows agriculture is a risky business, but few Americans understand that,” said Noem. “It takes some education before folks recognize safety nets for producers are really safety nets for our food supply – and even our national security. But that’s why we’re getting an early start on the Farm Bill. I’m proud to drive reforms that will make the Farm Bill work with more accountability, efficiency and predictability. At the same time, I’m fighting to make sure our tax and trade policies give producers the opportunities needed to continue their operation into the next year and the next generation.”
Leading voices within South Dakota’s agriculture community weighed in on the debate as well.
Jerry Schmitz, President of the South Dakota Soybean Association: “Each farm bill is a renewed oath to provide a safe and dependable supply of food, fiber and fuel for the benefit and security of every citizen of our nation. It provides a shield of protection for those of us who grow food today and assists us in protecting land, water and wildlife for the benefit of future generations. Congresswoman Noem is a standard bearer for agriculture and a leader of biofuel legislation which grows South Dakota’s economy, enhances our national security and provides a cleaner environment.”
Scott VanderWal, President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau: “In agriculture, a period of prosperity can be followed by one or more unprofitable years, potentially jeopardizing a generations-old operation. Rep. Noem understands that because she’s lived through it. As a result, she championed critical safety net programs in the 2014 Farm Bill and is fighting for reduced income tax rates and the elimination of the estate tax, among other priorities, in tax reform. Once again, Rep. Noem came to the table ready to listen during today’s Farm Bureau Forum. I think everyone who participated was grateful for the opportunity to share what’s working and what needs improving for South Dakota producers to succeed.”
Larry Stomprud, President of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association: “We commend Kristi for her hard work on the permanent disaster provisions for livestock producers that are part of the current Farm Bill. Those programs are an invaluable tool for helping us manage our resources during tough years such as this one and we support their continued funding in the next Farm Bill. We also applaud Representative Noem’s introduction of the DRY Act and hope this common sense legislation will also be incorporated into Farm Bill discussions moving forward.”
Julian Roseth, President of SD Wheat Inc.: “Between record low commodity prices, unfair trade practices in the global market, disease issues, and extreme weather, wheat farmers across South Dakota are experiencing the toughest economic conditions they have faced since the 1980’s. Fortunately, programs authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, specifically crop insurance, have enabled farmers to be able to farm another year when prices collapse or disaster strikes.”
Marv Post, President of the South Dakota Dairy Producers: “I look forward to highlighting the importance of a review of the Dairy MPP program in the Farm Bill, to make it work like the current programs for crops. Dairy farmers understand the crop insurance and the dairy program should be simple and available in a catastrophic event.
With additional proposals are expected following feedback from South Dakota producers, Rep. Noem has introduced three Farm Bill reform proposals to be included in the upcoming debates:
- Fair CRP Payment Act. Currently, the National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS) conducts rental rate surveys every other year, resulting in slow reactions to market changes. Under Noem’sFair CRP Payment Act, rental rate surveys would be conducted annually to more accurately reflect rate changes.
- DRY Act. This legislation would permanently allow the hay harvested on certain CRP acres to be donated to ranchers suffering from drought or fire.
- Wetland Determinations Efficiency and Transparency Act. Some producers have been forced to wait months or years to receive a wetland determination, delaying their ability to make improvements on their land. This bill would enact permanent reforms that make the wetland determination process more efficient, accountable and transparent.
Additionally, in early August, Noem joined members of the House Agriculture Committee for a Farm Bill listening session to hear from producers about changes needed in ag policy.
Outside the Farm Bill, Noem is the leading voice of agriculture on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and trade policy. Noem is the first South Dakotan in history to serve on the committee and has helped secure ag-friendly reform policies, includingmaking Section 179 permanent and extending the biodiesel tax credit. Noem also continues to fight for tax reform proposals will work for highly leveraged industries like agriculture and is the sponsor of the bipartisan Death Tax Repeal Act.
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