Aug 02 2012
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House is scheduled to vote on a reauthorization of livestock disaster programs critical to producers facing drought in South Dakota and Across the nation. H.R. 6233 would reauthorize the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Programs (LFP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) for the current year. The 2008 Farm Bill failed to authorize these programs for five years, leaving South Dakota livestock producers uncovered during this drought year. Rep. Noem introduced legislation in April to reauthorize these programs and today spoke on the House floor on the importance of getting them authorized now and getting a new Farm Bill done this year.
Today I rise in support of H.R. 6233, the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance bill. As we look across the United States, many areas, including South Dakota, are facing a serious drought. While many of our producers are covered by crop insurance, our livestock producers don’t have the same safety net in place to weather this drought. That is why the livestock disaster programs are so important. The last Farm bill was in place for five years, while the livestock disaster programs were only put into place for four.
That’s why back in April, I introduced legislation that would reauthorize those programs and retroactively look at 2012. Recognizing, that it was a dereliction of our duty. We need to make sure there was a safety net for our livestock producers as well.
The 2008 Farm Bill did not extend that disaster coverage for this year, but today we have the chance to make this right. This House should not go home while literally hanging our ranchers out to dry without a safety net to get through this drought. This need is immediate- which is why we need to get this done.
Beyond this, I’m going to continue to advocate for a five-year Farm Bill, knowing it is the right thing to do. Making sure that these programs are put into place for the lifetime of that Farm Bill, so that we avoid situations like this.
The full five year Farm Bill is the best way to get a long-term safety net for our livestock producers. And for our commodity producers as well. But we can’t wait another day with this drought going on without giving our ranchers some needed certainty. That’s why I’m going to urge all of my colleagues to vote yes today and continue to work to get a five-year Farm Bill.
With that Mr. Speaker, I yield back.