Hoeven, Heitkamp Hold Farm Bill Roundtable with ND Ag Groups

Leaders Highlight Provisions in Conference Commitee Approved, House-Passed Bill

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp today convened a roundtable with North Dakota agriculture groups to outline highlights of the five-year farm bill recently approved by the House-Senate conference committee on which Hoeven serves and passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday with a strong bipartisan vote of 251-166. Congressman Kevin Cramer was represented by a staff member at the meeting.

“Passing a strong, long-term farm bill is good for North Dakota farmers and ranchers, our state’s economy and every single American,” said Hoeven. “We made significant progress this week to get a strong, bipartisan bill approved by the conference committee, passed through the House and scheduled on the Senate calendar. This bill provides our producers with the tools they need to run their operations and supports the more than 16 million Americans that work in the agriculture industry.”

“North Dakota farmers and ranchers have suffered through the uncertainty caused in Washington for far too long. I obviously won’t be content until the Farm Bill is signed into law by the President, but we are so close, and I look forward to pushing it across the finish line next week. I’m incredibly proud of the work we have done and what we have accomplished in this agreement. I think North Dakotans will be proud, too,” said Heitkamp, a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“The five-year agreement gives agriculture producers and lenders the certainty they need for the next growing season and beyond. Crop insurance is the heart of the farm bill, and I am pleased we were able to strengthen it while demonstrating once again how agriculture can lead the way in finding savings to taxpayers,” said Cramer.

The leaders highlighted key provisions in the agreement including a strong focus on enhanced crop insurance, including a new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) to help producers through years of repetitive losses. In addition, it will provide assistance to livestock producers hit by the blizzard earlier this winter. It also continues the sugar program, while saving nearly $24 billion to help reduce the deficit and debt.

The following were invited to attend the meeting: John Sandbakken with the National Sunflower Association, Scott Ressler with the North Dakota Stockmen Association, North Dakota Credit Council Executive Director Dana Bohn, Farm Credit Services of Mandan CEO Mike O’Keefe, USDA FSA Program Manager Dale Ihry, Bart Schott with the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, Rick Clayburgh with the North Dakota Bankers Association, John Brown with ICBND, Tim Karsky with Startion Financial, David Ludwig with Security First Bank of North Dakota, David Mason with American Bank Center, Steve Becher with North Dakota PIA and Kristi Schlosser Carlson and Kayla Pulvemacher with the North Dakota Farmers Union.