Governor Jack Dalrymple met in Washington D.C. with Michael Scuse, USDA's Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, to advance a variety of issues important to North Dakota, including the pathway ahead for a new Farm Bill. Conventional thought in Washington is that the 2012 Farm Bill will require significant changes and because of the current federal budget deficit, savings will have to be identified.
During the meeting late Thursday, Dalrymple emphasized one major point with Under Secretary Scuse: the importance of preserving a strong crop insurance program.
"I made it clear that crop revenue coverage has become an essential tool for North Dakota farmers as they seek to control risks in their operations," Dalrymple said. "The insurance program has worked well and the delivery of it should remain with local agents. The delivery should not be transferred to the Farm Service Agency."
The Under Secretary assured Dalrymple that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will work to keep crop insurance in place.
Dalrymple and Scuse also discussed the value of the farm safety net provided through counter-cyclical payments, as well as the future of the Conservation Reserve Program.