The South Dakota Farm Bureau today issued its support for the Livestock Disaster Protection Act introduced recently by U.S. Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD). The Livestock Disaster Protection Act would extend the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill for five years, as well as retroactive coverage for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.Scott VanderWal, President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau and a family farmer from Volga, S.D., stated, “Livestock producers, like all of agriculture, face unique risks every day as they work to raise safe, healthy, affordable food. Farmers and ranchers can do everything right, and yet factors like weather can bring devastation to the animals in their care or to the crops or forage needed to feed them. Livestock producers deserve to have a dependable safety net in place to help face these production risks, and the Livestock Disaster Protection Act does just that. We urge the leaders in Congress to make sure this important protection is included in the new Farm Bill.”
“The risk our farmers, ranchers and all livestock owners in South Dakota take is undeniable,” said Rep. Noem. “The extreme weather we see across America - from drought to flood to freezes to the extreme heat - demonstrates the importance of providing a strong safety net. My bill gives some long-term certainty to our livestock owners so they'll keep on taking the risk to contribute to our state and nation's robust agriculture industry.”
Rep. Noem will work with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Lucas to include these provisions in the new Farm Bill, which is expected to be drafted in the coming weeks. She specifically included language to ensure these programs were extended for the life of the Farm Bill which will avoid a repeat of the current situation, in which eligibility for LIP, LFP, and ELAP expired in 2011 before the rest of the Farm Bill expired. The bill also makes the programs a more integral fixture by ensuring they are given a budget baseline. This action should provide livestock owners more certainty about their safety net going forward.