The Record’s Ag Report
A native of Herreid, S.D., and recently elected District 12 Representative in the North Dakota House, Rep. Jessica Haak serves on the Ag Committee and the Finance and Tax Committee. She also is the North Dakota Farmers Union Membership Specialist.
Regarding the Farm Bill, Rep. Haak said she is concerned for North Dakota agricultural producers.
“Many farmers and ranchers are apprehensive about losing crop insurance and some of the conservation programs,” Rep. Haak said. “It’s more difficult for them to renew their contracts in those programs because of the uncertainty of the Farm Bill and the payments attached to it.”
“Those program payments were permanent under the 2008 Farm Bill, and farmers and ranchers do not want to have to approach Congress for funding each time they experience a disaster,” Haak said.
TheAg Committee is presently working with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture on wetlands credit issues. They also heard a bill that would allow a 10 percent weight permit for certain vehicles during harvest time.
The Finance and Tax Committee heard various property tax relief bills. A bill that the committee is presently working on would give a 10 percent across the board cut on all property taxes including residential, commercial and agriculture land. They are also looking at several proposals that would give more money back to counties and townships, which could help build up county and township roads.
“It’s a fairly good plan,” Haak said. “Ag groups would like to see more information, but they seem to favor the bill.”
Haak, the daughter of James and LuCinda Haak of Linton, has many family members and friends who reside in Emmons County and surrounding areas, and invites people to visit her at the State Capitol.
“Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will save you a seat right beside me,” Rep. Haak said.
Farm Bill support from
U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
The information below was taken from a news releases dated Jan. 25, 2013.
U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp announced she has cosponsored her first two bills in the United States Senate, one of them being the Farm Bill.
“The Farm Bill is imperative to the economic security of North Dakota farmers,” Sen. Heitkamp said.
Heitkamp said a five-year Farm Bill will provide the men and women in the agriculture industry the security and certainty they need in order to make long-term plans, secure funding and protect against catastrophic loss.
“I have been an adamant supporter of a long-term Farm Bill, and I am eager to work with my colleagues to see that it succeeds in Congress this time around,” Heitkamp said.
An identical version of the just introduced Farm Bill, The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act, cleared the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support on June 21, 2012. The bill reforms food and agriculture policy, consolidates programs and saves taxpayers more than $23 billion by making programs more cost-effective. The previous bill and the bipartisan way in which it was passed was praised by members on both sides of the aisle.
According to Sen. Heitkamp’s Communications Director Whitney Phillips, Heitkamp met with key agricultural leaders from North Dakota in February regarding the Farm Bill.
“I recently had a very productive meeting with my Ag Advisory Committee, a group of agriculture leaders from across our state. Hearing from members of the industry in North Dakota only reiterates the fact that we need a long-term farm bill,” Heitkamp said.
The group felt that temporary extensions do not provide ag producers with the certainty they deserve.
“The farm bill I am supporting will reduce the deficit by more than $23 billion and support jobs for North Dakota’s ag sector,” Heitkamp said. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am going to push to move this legislation forward.”