U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp Monday spoke with North Dakota agriculture producers about the progress that has been made on the Farm Bill, and urged them to keep the pressure on lawmakers to get the job done.Posted 1/21/14
Heitkamp addressed farmers in Jamestown at the Precision Agriculture Action Summit and in Fargo at the Crop Insurance Conference 2014.
“After three years of debate, we are now closer than ever to passing a long-term, comprehensive Farm Bill,” said Heitkamp. “But we can’t become complacent now, not when we are so close to passing this law. We need to force members to act and give certainty to our hardworking farmers and ranchers.
“We are so close. Now it’s time to get this bill across the finish line.”
Heitkamp stressed the importance of maintaining a strong crop insurance system. She highlighted the crop insurance provisions she pushed for in the Senate-passed bill, including: additional crop insurance supports for new and beginning farmers; a provision to make sure disaster years don’t unfairly harm production histories, resulting in weaker coverage for farmers; and a provision to make permanent the enterprise units system that has been very successful in North Dakota.
“Since the beginning of this process, I have heard one clear message from producers and industry stakeholders – crop insurance is the backbone of the farm safety net and should not be harmed,” Heitkamp said. “The Farm Bill not only makes sure there’s strong support going forward for the Federal Crop Insurance Program, it makes historic investments to further strengthen crop insurance offerings that give our growers the support they need to feed our state, the country, and the world.”
A member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Heitkamp played a key role in passing a bipartisan Farm Bill through the Senate in June. Members of Congress are now working to combine the Senate and House of Representative-passed bills into a compromise bill that can pass in both chambers.
The Senate-passed bill reduces the federal deficit by $24 billion while maintaining a strong safety net for farmers and ranchers, so they can continue to feed the world.