Noem, House Send Farm Bill to President’s Desk
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation is now headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
“Today, we crossed a major hurdle in securing a safety net, not only for South Dakota producers, but for America’s food supply,” said Noem. “This critical legislation maintains strong crop insurance and livestock disaster programs and makes improvements to the commodity title. Additionally, we expand support for rural broadband and increase investments in farm country. Especially after five years of droughts, floods, and depressed markets, this legislation provides some needed certainty regarding the safety nets available to them.”
“Crop Insurance provides farmers a tool to manage their risk and handle the unpredictable nature of farming,” said Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of South Dakota Corn. “We are grateful for Rep. Noem’s dedicated work in standing up for South Dakota farmers and protecting this critical Farm Bill safety net.”
“Most farmers take on a tremendous amount of risk every year to grow the food our nation and world needs,” said Scott VanderWal, President of South Dakota Farm Bureau. “Even though most of us have had great yields the last few years, low prices cause stress and a poor crop in addition to that could be disastrous for a family farm. We are grateful for Rep. Noem’s leadership in pushing the Farm Bill forward in a way that protects producers while respecting the taxpayer dollars we all contribute.”
“The Farm Bill is important to South Dakota’s beef producers,” said Jodie Anderson, Executive Director of South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “It promotes the use of best management practices through conservation programs targeted at working lands, such as CSP and EQIP. It’s also an important safety net for producers who rely on livestock disaster programs such as LIP, LFP and ELAP to recover from weather-related events like unseasonal blizzards or wildfires. Without these programs, our ability to help feed the world would be diminished.”
“With farm income down 40-50% from 5 years ago, it is now more important than ever to rapidly pass a farm bill that ensures families remain America’s food producers and to guarantee a steady supply of food at stable prices for consumers,” said Jerry Schmitz, Executive Director of South Dakota Soybean Association. “We are grateful to Rep. Noem for fighting for a strong crop insurance program, along with commodity program reform that will assist farm families, especially young farm families, through this tumultuous time.”
During the 2014 Farm Bill debate, Noem took on her own party to push one of the most reform-minded Farm Bills to passage. While only minor changes were needed to the base legislation, Noem was able to secure a number of wins for South Dakota to make the Farm Bill work better.
More specifically, the 2018 Farm Bill:
- Incorporates Noem’s reforms to strengthen commodity programs. During the 2014 Farm Bill implementation, USDA elected to prioritize county yield data from its National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which has proven unreliable in many cases. Today’s House proposal, using Noem’s language, would direct USDA to prioritize crop insurance data instead, which is a more dependable source.
- Maintains a strong crop insurance program.
- Increases CRP acreage to 27 million acres and bases enrollment rates on a state’s historical data, which Noem has previously pressured USDA to do.Maintains meaningful Livestock Disaster Programs, which Noem fought to prioritize during the 2014 Farm Bill debate.
- Maintains and strengthens dairy policy.
- Maintains the Beginning Farmer incentive program.
- Enhances incentives for rural broadband development.
- Includes critical support for SDSU’s Wokini Initiative.
- Simplifies the environmental review process requirements for forestry management, which Noem has strongly advocated for – particularly as it relates to fighting the pine beetle and other insect infestations in the Black Hills.