November 20, 2017

Lawmakers and Ag Organizations Are Covering a Wide Swath to Gather “Grass Roots” Input for the New Farm Bill – Audio

A list of farm policy changes for the next farm bill, including shifts to commodity and other programs, has been sent to leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The group’s Board of Directors called the proposals “grass roots policy options.”

The North Dakota Farmers Union today kicks off a series of farm bill listening sessions around the state to gather input from farmers and ranchers for the next farm bill.

Six listening sessions have been slated —

July 17            10 a.m.          Roughrider Center, Watford City

July 17               3 p.m.          North Central Experiment Station, Minot

July 18             10 a.m.          Fireside Inn, Devils Lake

July 18               3 p.m.          Hillsboro Event Center, Hillsboro

July 19             10 a.m.          N.D. Heritage Center, Bismarck

July 19               3 p.m.          NDFU Conference Center, Jamestown

Meanwhile, witnesses told the Senate Agriculture Committee last week that federal help for U.S. organic and specialty crop producers is needed with issues like building supply and gaining access to foreign markets.

Multiple witnesses testified about the necessity of programs like the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Assess Program in the new farm bill. Some also talked about the impact of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after President Trump took office.

During the hearing, U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven of North Dakota discussed the importance of the MAP and FMD programs in the next farm bill – with North Dakota potato producer Eric Halverson, CEO of Black Gold Farms, in Grand Forks.

Listen —>  Specialty Crops Farm Bill Hearing