The U.S. House and Senate started negotiations this week to begin crafting a compromise farm bill. U.S. Representative Kristi Noem talked today about the progress of the bill that could affect the entire country if it's not passed.
U.S. Representative Kristi Noem is on the farm bill conference committee, the first South Dakotan since 1996. She vows to bring a new farm bill to the Rushmore State, and states the negative effects if the bill isn't passed.
"At the end of this year if we don't get a farm bill done we can see milk in the grocery store go to eight dollars a gallon. We can see a reversion back to 1940's law that would be very detrimental to making sure that every family here in KELOLAND has the chance to really take care of their family and doesn't take more money out of their pocket to do it," Noem said.
The multi-billion dollar potential legislation also looks to aid the ranchers out west that lost their livestock to the blizzard.
"I authored the livestock disaster programs that would cover that situation. And see a lot of people just don't understand that most of those cattle and livestock that died from instances that aren't covered by insurance. So really those producers have no coverage for their losses. Unless we get a farm bill signed into law it's simply not going to be there," Noem said.
Many farmers and producers say they're frustrated for the delayed bill. Noem points to one issue holding up the passing of the bill.
"We've had a lot of discussion over the nutrition title. That's been the point of contention probably for the last six to eight months, but I think we've made a lot of progress," Noem said.
Still, the deadline for a mutually agreeable farm bill is scheduled for the end of the year.
Noem is also looking to establish a permanent office of tribal relations within the USDA to help tribes a better understanding on how to access programs on the farm bill.
While there still is some sticking points, she is confident that the bill will be passed before the end of the year.