(NAFB)--South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem has introduced legislation to provide a safety net for livestock owners. Her Livestock Disaster Protection Act would extend the Livestock Indemnity Program, Livestock Forage Program and Emergency Livestock Assistance Program for five years and apply retroactively to cover losses in fiscal year 2012 and 2013. Noem previously introduced the legislation in April of last year. The U.S. House voted to approve livestock disaster assistance in August with a 223 to 197 vote. Noem says the risk farmers, ranchers and all livestock owners take is undeniable. She says the extreme weather seen across America from drought to flood to freezes to extreme heat demonstrates the importance of providing a safety net. Noem says her bill gives some long-term certainty to livestock owners so they’ll keep taking the risk to contribute to the robust ag industry.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association supports Noem’s efforts. While NCBA President Scott George says cattlemen and women need the certainty that would be provided through a permanent disaster program in a full five-year farm bill - and NCBA will continue working toward that goal - the group appreciates the efforts of members of Congress in keeping disaster assistance part of the national dialogue. Citing the drought that has now covered more than 70-percent of cattle country - George says cattle producers need the tools necessary to manage the risks associated with Mother Nature.