Hoeven, Tester push for more livestock disaster assistance

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 8:44 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - When the weather cooperates, life can be good for ranchers in North Dakota. But when it doesn’t, well, you can just about imagine. That’s why Washington D.C. is hoping to make some adjustments to federal law to help ranchers in North Dakota.

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Montana Senator Jon Tester have introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

The proposed changes would increase producer assistance under the LFP so producers are more accurately compensated for feed costs. They would also specify transportation costs for feed, water, and livestock as covered losses under the ELAP. Senator Hoeven said this could make a big difference for ranchers in the Upper Great Plains area, if it passes.

“It’s very important for our ranchers in time of drought. Both the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program and the Livestock Forage Program are strengthened so that our ranchers have that support when they need it and don’t have to sell off their herds, which takes many years to build, in a time of drought,” said Hoeven.

Hoeven and Tester are hoping to include these improvements to livestock assistance programs in the upcoming Farm Bill.

The Farm Bill will be drafted and voted on later this year.