Hoeven Invites U.S. Agriculture Secretary to North Dakota to Gather Input on Farm Bill Implementation

Senator Expresses Opposition to Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule

WASHINGTON – At an Agriculture Committee meeting today Senator John Hoeven invited U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to North Dakota to gather input from farmers and ranchers on implementation of the new farm bill and other agriculture issues important to North Dakota producers.

“The secretary needs to hear firsthand from farmers and ranchers during the new farm bill’s implementation process to get their input,” Hoeven said. “He also needs to hear their concerns about conservation compliance and the EPA’s proposed Waters of the United States rule, which could impose burdensome requirements on producers.”

Hoeven urged Vilsack to insure that the new Wetland Mitigation Bank and acre for acre mitigations provisions in the farm bill as well as the Wetland Mitigation Bank are used to ensure that farmers do not face undue costs or burdensome requirements due to conservation compliance. The senator said it has to be implemented in a way that is farmer friendly and does not impose undue burdens and costs on our producers.

The senator also pressed his adamant opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “Waters of the United States” rule. Hoeven said farmers and ranchers could be at risk of liability based on EPA regulations and the agency should withdraw the proposed rule. He asked Vilsack’s help on behalf of farmers and ranchers.

The senator thanked the secretary for his work on the farm bill and the agency’s rapid implementation of the Livestock Assistance Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program disaster assistance programs, which Hoeven made a priority as a member of the Agriculture Committee and the conference committee that finalized the new, long-term Farm Bill.