Hoeven: Senate Confirms William Northey as USDA Under Secretary

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed William Northey as the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. In this role, Northey will oversee the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“I’m pleased that the Senate has acted to confirm William Northey. In his new role at USDA, Under Secretary Northey will oversee a wide variety of programs that are critical to the success of our farmers and ranchers,” Hoeven said. “As we continue our efforts on the upcoming farm bill, I look forward to working with him to further improve programs like crop insurance, ARC and PLC and disaster assistance, which will help ensure a strong farm economy.”

During Northey’s confirmation hearing last year, Hoeven urged him to help secure support for farmers and ranchers facing natural disasters and stressed the importance of crop insurance and other risk management tools. Following this, Hoeven worked through his role as chairman to secure additional drought assistance as part of the Senate’s supplemental funding legislation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. This included funding under the:

  • Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish program (ELAP) – Chairman Hoeven made additional ELAP funding available to assist producers for activities, including transporting hay and livestock, during the drought.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) – The legislation enables producers who were forced to sell their livestock due to drought or other weather-related conditions to receive LIP payment for their losses and removes payment limitations currently capped at $125,000. The provision is retroactive to January 1, 2017.

In addition, FSA has since implemented Hoeven’s pilot program to improve the fairness of payments under the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program. The agency has started the pilot in 14 counties across seven states, including Divide and Sheridan counties in North Dakota.