WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO AM)—Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today applauded the appointment of House Farm Bill conferees by Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio). On October 8th, Thune sent a letter to Speaker Boehner calling on him to appoint Farm Bill conferees so that Farm Bill Conference Committee negotiations could begin as soon as possible. Thune’s letter emphasized that the livestock losses resulting from the devastating winter storm that recently swept through western South Dakota will create a severe financial crisis for many ranchers, and that the Farm Bill would provide desperately-needed assistance to these livestock producers. Both the House and Senate-passed Farm Bills include the livestock disaster programs first authored and included in the 2008 Farm Bill by Thune and Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.). As currently written, both House and Senate Farm Bills would cover livestock losses beginning with 2012. One of the programs, the Livestock Indemnity Program, would pay livestock producers indemnity payments when natural disasters have resulted in historic livestock losses, including losses from the early October snowstorm in western South Dakota.
“Speaker Boehner’s appointment of House Farm Bill conferees is a great step toward ensuring we complete work on a five-year Farm Bill an provide needed relief to our livestock producers in western South Dakota,” said Thune. “I applaud the Speaker for taking action to move this legislation forward and encourage the conferees to move quickly to reach an agreement to provide certainty and relief for South Dakota farmers and ranchers. I will continue working with my colleagues on the Ag Committee to address areas of concern in the Commodity Title and other sections of the Farm Bill.”