South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem used her appearance at the state’s Stock Show to address the failed 2012 Farm Bill and the current efforts to restart the failed farm bill process.
For the past several months, the farm bill has been at the center of congressional politics. Despite major gains over the summer, GOP leaders who opposed passing a major spending bill in an election year stalled the farm bill in the House of Representatives.
With congressional action on the farm bill having restarted in the new congressional term, House members are being pressured by their constituents to take rapid action to avoid a long, drawn out farm fight.
Noem was one of several rural Republican officials who bucked party leadership by pushing for a new five-year farm bill.
In her talk, Noem focused on the need for aid for ranchers, who aren’t covered by federal crop insurance programs. “The last Farm Bill didn’t have ‘live stock disaster programs’ in place for the last year. Now, with the short term extension that we put into place at the end of the year, they were re-authorized, but they weren’t funded,” Noem said. “Raising cattle, or sheep, or raising any kind of crops, you need to know and plan for the future. And, right now, Washington hasn’t been doing that for our agriculture industry. They’ve been making short term fixes that don’t really address all the concerns that we have, and we need a five year Farm Bill.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer