The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauded the news that Congress voted 251-166 to pass the 2014 Farm Bill this morning. Representative Noem signed the conference committee report on Monday and voted to support the Farm Bill’s passage in the House. The bill now moves to the Senate for a final vote.
President of the SD Stockgrowers Association, Bob Fortune of Belvidere said, “We are very excited to see that the House has now passed a Farm Bill and we’re hopeful the Senate can follow suit to get this Farm Bill finalized. We thank Representative Noem for her support.”
“South Dakota Stockgrowers is very supportive of this Farm Bill which protected Country of Origin Labeling and preserves the authority for USDA to complete the GIPSA rule for marketing reform. It also contains a strong livestock disaster program that will support our family ranches who are still rebuilding after the terrible blizzard in October.”
According to Representative Noem, who authored the Livestock Disaster Program in the Farm Bill, the final disaster programs will reimburse producers up to 75% of the fair market value for livestock lost in natural disasters. The program will be retroactive for 2012 and 2013 and raise the cap to allow an individual producer to be eligible for up to $125,000 of compensation for livestock losses.
The provisions for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) were kept in tact in the final Farm Bill after an aggressive campaign by opponents to gut the provisions that provide information to consumers regarding the origin of meat products at the grocery store. According to Fortune, “Stockgrowers have always strongly supported COOL because we are proud of the food that we raise, and because we believe that customers should know where their food is born, raised and harvested.”
“We really appreciate Representative Noem’s support for COOL and her leadership on the livestock disaster programs,” said Fortune. “We’re fortunate to have Rep Noem and Senators Johnson and Thune all working for this Farm Bill and supporting these provisions that are so important to our livestock producers.”