Congressman Rick Berg today reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring North Dakota's priorities are represented in the next farm bill. In roundtable discussions held today in Bismarck and Fargo, Berg met with agriculture leaders from across North Dakota to discuss North Dakota's priorities for the next farm bill.
"Agriculture is the backbone of North Dakota's economy, and it's critical that our state's priorities are represented as the next farm bill takes shape," Berg stated. "Today's roundtables served as a valuable opportunity for North Dakota's ag leaders to come together and discuss the common sense ideas that will strengthen our country's agriculture sector and allow our economy to grow. I will work to ensure that the priorities shared with me today are heard as we work toward the next farm bill."
Berg was also joined by House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-OK), who will lead House efforts to reauthorize the farm bill this year.
"I was pleased to be a part of Congressman Berg's roundtable discussion on agriculture issues," Chairman Lucas said. "This was a great opportunity to meet members of the agriculture community in his state, recognize the contributions our farmers make for this nation and around the world, and discuss the challenges our producers continue to face. We need more members like Congressman Berg who understand and appreciate agriculture because now more than ever it is important that we stand strongly together in support of production agriculture and rural economies."
In his conversations with North Dakota's ag leaders, Berg stressed the importance of strengthening the safety net for farmers by including a strong crop insurance program in the next farm bill.
"As I talk with North Dakota's farmers, ranchers, and members of the ag industry, crop insurance continues to be the number one concern I hear about. As we work toward the next farm bill, strengthening the safety net for farmers will be my top priority," Berg stated. "Crop insurance serves as a strong risk management tool for our farmers, and unsustainable cuts to this program would only burden our ag producers with more uncertainty in an already unpredictable industry. As we work toward the next farm bill, we must work to grow the ag industry--not put more barriers up."
Berg also noted that he will work to ensure that critical agriculture programs, including conservation programs and access to open markets, are not faced with unsustainable cuts as Congress works to reauthorize the farm bill.
Joining Berg and Lucas in Bismarck were representatives from Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, Independent Community Banks of North Dakota, Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Dakota Ag Association, North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives, North Dakota Cattle Women, North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Corn Utilization Council, North Dakota Dairy Coalition, North Dakota Dry Pea and Lentil Council, North Dakota Ethanol Council, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality, North Dakota Wheat Commission, North Dakota Canola Growers Association, and Women Involved in Farm Economics.
Attendees of the Fargo roundtable included representatives from the National Sunflower Association, Independent Community Banks of North Dakota, North Dakota Ag Association, North Dakota Barley Council, North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Corn Utilization Council, North Dakota Ethanol Council, North Dakota Implement Dealers Association, North Dakota Oilseed Council, North Dakota State University Agriculture, North Dakota Wheat Commission, Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, and Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.