June 20-21: Klobuchar staff to hold farm bill meetings

June 19, 2018 / Categories: Uncategorized

On Wednesday, June 20, and Thursday, June 21, members of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s staff will meet with local farmers, rural economic development specialists, conservation groups, and leaders from agriculture-supporting industries in Southern and Western Minnesota to discuss the 2018 Senate Farm Bill.

The bill includes Klobuchar’s provisions that would help provide certainty to farmers and ranchers, create an animal disease and disaster program, and support dairy farmers. The bill also protects and expands crop insurance, preserves a strong safety net for farmers, and maintains important access to food assistance for families in need while cracking down on fraud and abuse.

June 20:
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Dodge County Courthouse
Government Services Building
721 Main Street North
Mantorville, MN 55955

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
South Central Technical College
Heritage Hall
1920 Lee Blvd
North Mankato, MN 56003

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Marshall Public Library
201 C Street
Marshall, MN  56258

June 21:
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building
Community Room
2200 23rd Street NE
Willmar, MN  56201

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Oscar Burgos Conference Center Room A117
1900 28th Ave S
Moorhead, MN 56560

The 2018 Farm Bill includes several of Klobuchar’s priorities, including provisions to create an animal disease and disaster response program and a vaccine bank, invest an additional $100 million to improve affordability and flexibility for small dairy producers, improve agriculture data research of conservation practices to help farmers reduce risk and increase profitability, and protect the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funding.

Klobuchar also introduced several amendments to the 2018 Farm Bill that were included in the Committee-passed text, including provisions to:

  • Increase investment in renewable energy by restoring mandatory funding levels for programs in the Energy Title;
  • Promote precision agriculture and target broadband deployment to the nation’s farms and ranches, based on Klobuchar and Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act;
  • Disincentivize the conversion of native sod to cropland by allowing Governors nationwide to opt-in to the Sodsaver program, based on Klobuchar and Senator John Thune’s (R-SD) American Prairie Conservation Act; and
  • Change the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)-Transition Incentives Program to further expand and incentivize land transitions to beginning farmers.

As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a 2014 Farm Bill Conference Committee member, Klobuchar successfully pushed for key provisions in the last Farm Bill – including measures to support rural development projects, conservation programs, agricultural research, and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Broadband Caucus, Klobuchar has been a leader in pushing to expand and improve communications infrastructure in rural areas. In May, Klobuchar, Wicker and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the bipartisan Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017 to expand broadband deployment using accurate coverage maps. In April, Klobuchar and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) led a bipartisan group of 56 senators in urging the FCC to continue advancing broadband deployment in rural communities. Last year, Klobuchar and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced legislation to measure the economic impact of broadband on the U.S. economy. Klobuchar, Capito, Senators Angus King (I-ME), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and John Boozman (R-AR) also led 48 senators in urging the Administration to include broadband in any infrastructure initiative.

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