Amidst Drought, McCaskill Aims to Extend Disaster Relief
Senator supports legislation to extend disaster relief for Livestock Producers, continues call on U.S. House to pass Farm Bill
July 26, 2012
WASHINGTON - As drought conditions worsen across Missouri, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is supporting legislation to help provide relief to Missouri's livestock producers struggling with the worst drought in half a century.
"Missouri's livestock producers can't afford to wait any longer for U.S. House members to pass the Farm Bill that's been sitting on their desks for weeks," said McCaskill, who was born in Rolla, Mo. "This legislation is another way we can provide necessary resources, while we wait for the House to get busy and pass the Farm Bill."
The Wildfire and Drought Relief for Ranchers and Farmers Act would reauthorize three livestock disaster assistance programs that expired in 2011: the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, and the Livestock Indemnity Program. The legislation supported by Senator McCaskill will reauthorize these essential programs through 2012, providing aid to Missouri producers suffering losses as a result of the ongoing drought.
McCaskill's continued call for action from the U.S. House comes as news outlets report that farmers and ranchers "are now experiencing the worst drought in decades. Programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill have expired and can't be reinstated unless the House approves a bill passed by the Senate. But House Republican leaders have not scheduled a vote."
The Farm Bill approved by the Senate reauthorizes the essential livestock disaster assistance programs included in the Wildfire and Drought Relief for Ranchers and Farmers Act, supports agriculture jobs, strengthens resources for family farms and ranches, and reduces the national deficit by more than $23 billion. The Farm Bill-approved with a strong bipartisan vote of 64-35-also provides crucial resources that allow Missouri's crop producers to manage risk and new programs that help Missouri's dairy farmers to cope with high costs.
Yesterday, McCaskill launched an online resource center on her website to provide a place Missourians can go for information ranging from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency office locations across the state, to a drought monitoring map updated weekly. Additionally, the page offers a direct link for farmers and ranchers to apply for water supply assistance through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The drought online resource center is available on McCaskill's website, HERE.
McCaskill's Fight for Missouri's Farmers and Ranchers
Claire McCaskill has consistently fought to ensure Missouri's farm and ranch families have the resources they need to succeed, and to prevent and overturn unreasonable rules and regulations on producers.
- McCaskill helped pass a bipartisan Farm Bill to support agriculture jobs, strengthen resources for family farms and ranches, and reduce the national deficit by more than $23 billion.
- McCaskill delivered a victory for rural communities, successfully forcing the U.S. Labor Department to withdraw proposed rules that would affect the ability of young adults to work on family farms and ranches.
- McCaskill helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators in successfully demanding an exemption to allow the transportation of all farm supplies from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or to the consumer during planning and harvest seasons.
- McCaskill confronted the Environmental Protection Agency in opposition to proposed rules over farm dust, forcing the EPA to abandon any such rules.
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