President signs Farm Bill, SD congressional delegation pushes di - KOTA Territory News

President signs Farm Bill, SD congressional delegation pushes disaster relief

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Bill signings are a rare thing for the President these days. And after more than two years of haggling congress finally sent him a Farm Bill.

"It helps rural communities grow. It gives farmers some certainty. It puts in place important reforms," said Obama.

The five year, $956 billion bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

The President's signature means a financial cushion for agriculture producers in Western South Dakota hit hard by the October blizzard and the earlier drought.  It also eliminates billions of dollars in direct subsidies to farmers - a major change from the days when farmers received payments whether they grew crops or not!

In addition, it creates a new crop insurance program in case of droughts or floods.

Friday, South Dakota's U.S. Senator John Thune and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem visited the Black Hill Stock Show and Rodeo in Rapid City to gauge the temperature of producers following the bill's passage.

"In light of the situation that we have had so many disasters in South Dakota that we need some policy certainty in the future and we need a strong conservation and energy title. This is a good Farm Bill for South Dakota and the producers at the Stock Show seem to breathe a big sigh of relief," said Representative Noem.

"Because of what we were able to get done in the Farm Bill with regard to the Lifestock Indemnity Program, which helps all the ranchers who were hit out here by the blizzard we had last October and the drought the year before, we were able to keep things like COOL and GIPSA in those provisions that were already in place," said Senator Thune.

Both are calling for expedited implementation of the livestock disaster programs.

In a news release, South Dakota's U.S. Senator Tim Johnson applauded the President for signing the bill.  Johnson said  he will turn his attention to ensuring that the U.S.D.A. implements the law in a timely manner.

 

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