I was born and raised on a farm in rural Hamlin County in northeastern South Dakota and went on to take over the farming and ranching operation in my early 20’s.  I understand just how critical this industry is to our state and what impact it has on families, rural communities, and South Dakota’s larger cities alike.

One of the most important pieces of legislation impacting this industry is the Farm Bill, which I helped pass in 2014 for the first time in since 2008.  I was privileged to serve as a member of the Conference Committee that negotiated the agreement and was able to give South Dakota a voice throughout the negotiations.  Check out some South Dakota highlights here.  The USDA now has the responsibility to implement the legislation, which I am watching very closely to make sure it is in line with what Congress intended. 

I have also worked to address the many challenges facing agriculture today, including unnecessary and burdensome regulations.  For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered tightening regulations on soot and dust, like that found on farms.  I sponsored the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (H.R. 1633), which passed the House in December 2011 and put enough pressure on the EPA to abandon any consideration of stricter regulations. 

In late 2015, we achieved another big win for the agriculture community: a permanent extension of Section 179.  With this in place, I'm hopeful farmers and ranchers will have more certainty about how their purchases will be reflected at tax time.

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