U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today participated in Dakotafest’s annual farm bill forum in Mitchell. Thune thanked South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers who help make agriculture the state’s top industry, and he highlighted the five farm bill proposals that he’s introduced so far this year. In early March, Thune began his farm bill rollout by introducing legislation that would create the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), and nearly every month since then, he has introduced various pieces of legislation that target different titles of the farm bill.
“We’re lucky to have so many hard-working farmers, ranchers, and other dedicated professionals who help support agriculture in South Dakota and make it our state’s number-one industry,” said Thune. “As a South Dakotan and a legislator, I’m thankful for their contributions here and around the country, and I always appreciate their feedback on proposed policies in Washington, D.C. No one knows these issues better than the folks who till the land or raise livestock in South Dakota, so all of their ideas and honest advice are invaluable to me. Each day that passes means we’re one day closer to the 2018 farm bill, so I look forward to having more of these conversations in the coming weeks and months.”
South Dakota Agriculture Stakeholders Comment on Thune’s Farm Bill Effort:
“By introducing these individual proposals well in advance of the 2018 farm bill even being written, Sen. Thune is leading by example and showing that he’s eager to be part of the discussion with stakeholder groups across the state, like the South Dakota Farm Bureau,” said Scott VanderWal, president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau. “I want to thank him for his work and especially his commitment to farmers in South Dakota and around the country.”
“We are thankful that Sen. Thune is leading the drive for a modernized and responsive 2018 farm bill as evidenced by his foresight in proposing SHIPP as well as improvements to the ARC County program,” said Jerry Schmitz, president of the South Dakota Soybean Association. “The senator’s efforts are helping to craft a prosperous future for South Dakota farm families.”
“Livestock producers, like all of the hard-working people the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association proudly represents, are glad to have Sen. Thune in our corner fighting for the issues that matter to us,” said Jodie Anderson, executive director of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “His early work on the 2018 farm bill is encouraging news, and we look forward to continue working with him as Congress prepares to put pen to paper on the next farm bill.”
“I appreciate Sen. Thune’s vision and the important groundwork he’s laying for the 2018 farm bill,” said Lisa Richardson, executive director of South Dakota Corn. “It’s never too early for this work to begin, and I’m thankful he’s willing to put in the time to listen to farmers, ranchers, and others in the South Dakota agriculture community as these policies are being developed.”
Components of the Thune Farm Bill (Additional Proposals Will Be Unveiled Soon):
- Creating SHIPP, a new voluntary income protection program for farmers that is designed for today’s production agriculture and soil health needs (click here for more information).
- Adding flexibility to haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program contracts, which would eliminate the need for emergency haying and grazing and mid-contract management, and creating new management options for other easement programs (click here for more information).
- Simplifying the Agriculture Risk Coverage-County payment process for multi-county farms and requiring a mandatory crop acreage base update that would be determined by planted and considered-planted commodity crop acres on a farm for the years 2014-2017 (click here for more information).
- Updating the Thune-authored Livestock Forage Program and Livestock Indemnity Program (click here for more information).
- Increasing the effectiveness of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act and improving the National Environmental Policy Act, which would help simplify and streamline federal forest management (click here for more information).