WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Agriculture Committee, joined a bipartisan group of senators, led by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), in urging Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) assistance as quickly as possible. The senators also requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) delegate LIP approval authority to Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committees. The senators stressed that the county committees are the most familiar with local weather, disaster events and the livestock management practices of area farmers and ranchers.
“The extreme conditions our ranchers faced this winter led to real losses,” said Hoeven. “These payments are needed to help ranchers recover and maintain their operations. That’s why we’re pressing Secretary Perdue to ensure the payments are issued as soon as possible, and delegating this authority to the FSA County Committees is an important step in making that happen.”
The letter follows a series of severe weather events in the Plains, Rocky Mountains, Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes regions that have led to devastating livestock losses. The senators also urged Perdue to prioritize LIP regulatory updates as USDA implements the 2018 Farm Bill, revisit and broaden weather related LIP eligibility criteria and adhere to the management protocol changes outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill.
In addition to Hoeven and Thune, the letter was signed by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (DMont.).