Thanksgiving is many things. A special day with family. A moment to thank God for all that we have. A chance to reflect on the blessings of liberty we enjoy as Americans. Thanksgiving is also a day when we enjoy a meal with the ones we love. And our full Thanksgiving tables, and full stomachs, are thanks to the extraordinary work of our nation’s agriculture producers who brave brutal cold, sweltering heat, droughts, and other extreme weather to feed our nation.
Agriculture is the lifeblood of South Dakota, and it is a heritage that is deeply rooted in our state. And whether it’s the holiday season, planting or harvesting season, or any other day, farmers and ranchers are always hard at work. These producers are my most trusted advisors as I bring their perspective to the Senate. I’m a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which gives me a platform from which I’m able to advocate for farmers and ranchers and ultimately shape agriculture policy – including the farm bill we’ll be considering next year.
To get ready for next year’s farm bill, I have held multiple roundtables across the state over the past several months to hear directly from farmers and ranchers about the effectiveness of farm programs. These conversations have provided me with valuable feedback that will help inform the provisions that I’m working to secure in the 2023 farm bill.
In addition to my continued strong support of crop insurance and commodity programs, this year I’ve offered multiple proposals that seek to improve the overall effectiveness of the farm bill. I’ve introduced legislation that would improve and strengthen livestock disaster programs that assist producers in the aftermath of adverse weather events. I have also proposed improvements to the Conservation Reserve Program that would make the program a more attractive working-lands option for producers. And I have introduced legislation to restore mandatory country of origin labeling for beef so consumers know when their food is truly a “product of the USA” that is made by hardworking American cattle producers.
Farmers and ranchers work hard every day, often from before sunrise until after sunset, to feed our nation and the world. America depends on South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, and I am proud to represent the men and women who have chosen this way of life and who are committed to passing it on to future generations.
On Thanksgiving, we take a moment to be grateful for all that we have. And before we sit down for this year’s meal, it’s worth remembering where the food on our table came from and the work that went into producing it.