(The following is a press release from Sen. Tester) – Senator Jon Tester today secured a victory for Montana ranchers when he successfully got the President to quickly implement the livestock disaster assistance programs included in the recently passed Farm Bill.
After the five-year Farm Bill became law earlier this month, Tester called on the President to move forward with the initiatives so ranchers in Montana and across the country could get the assistance they need.
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program – two initiatives that expired in 2011 and are needed by ranchers who suffered losses during the nationwide drought in 2012 and South Dakota’s blizzard in October 2013.
“Getting livestock disaster assistance up and running will let more Montana ranchers get the support they need,” Tester said. “I appreciate the President making this assistance a priority and will keep supporting Montana’s hard-working producers.”
Tester pushed the President for the quick implementation of the Farm Bill because it took more than a year for the two assistance programs to begin after the last Farm Bill became law in 2008. The newly reauthorized programs will be retroactive to October 1, 2011.
The Livestock Indemnity Program and Livestock Forage Disaster Program will support ranchers affected by the 2012 drought that led to disaster declarations in 33 states and ranchers hurt by the devastating blizzard in South Dakota that reduced many herds by more than 50 percent.
Ranchers can apply for assistance starting on April 15.
The Farm Bill includes numerous other Tester priorities, including extending Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) through 2014, support for beginning farmers and ranchers and savings of $23 billion.
Tester’s letter to the President, which was signed by 23 other Senators, is available online HERE