By Jared Ransom
As the first farm bill conference committee meeting approaches, Republican Representative Kristi Noem gathers thoughts and concerns from those directly affected by the bill.
"Will we actually see a farm bill signed into law? And will it work for South Dakota? So that's been my priority from the beginning. Hopefully we'll get one signed into law real soon that'll make sure we have a strong crop insurance program and livestock disaster programs as well," Representative Kristi Noem said.
Her priorities going into next Wednesday's meeting line up with the concerns of producers near Aurora.
"The thought of whether we're going to get one or not. I had two farmers come up to me and say they haven't got a check yet. They're just very curious about whether we're even going to have a farm bill," Brookings farmer Doc Peterson said.
South Dakota has not had someone on the farm bill conference committee since 1996, and Noem says the personal stories from home could help get a bill passed.
"They don't realize the kind of risks that agriculture takes and the volatility that the weather creates. The number one goal here is to make sure we have a strong economy in South Dakota, but also there's a responsibility to provide food for this country," Noem said.
Noem suggests that if a bill is not passed by the end of the year, the United States may revert back to 1940s law when it comes to farm policy, but she is still confident that the House and Senate can come together for a final bill.
"We're really going to have to work to tell our story to get that done, but it's imperative that we get this bill done by the end of the year," Noem said.Read the story here.