SDFU President to Testify at U.S. House Ag Committee Field Hearing

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President Doug Sombke will testify tomorrow at the hearing of the United States House Agriculture Committee on the drafting of the 2012 Farm Bill. The hearing will be held at the Edith Mortenson Center Theater on the campus of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. The hearing will begin at 8:00 a.m.

Sombke will discuss several important issues facing agriculture, and give his thoughts on what should be included in the 2012 Farm Bill. Sombke will talk about derivative market reform, disaster aid payments, crop insurance, trade standards, captive supply, market competition, country of origin labeling, and other topics.

“South Dakota is extremely fortunate to have this field hearing in our state,” Sombke said. “It will give agricultural producers the chance to speak directly to the decision makers in Washington, D.C. It will be extremely beneficial for these lawmakers to come to where the producers are and hear from them directly.”

Sombke says one of the most important issues which should be addressed in the next Farm Bill is derivative market reform because of the financial collapse.

“We realize that profits drive the market and ensure its viability, but those profits shouldn’t be achieved through market manipulation,” Sombke said. “I’ll convey the message to the House Ag Committee members that farmers and ranchers need a stable market that is free of manipulation by outside sources like foreign investors and Wall Street brokers.”

Among other issues, Sombke will also touch on the hot topic of federal crop insurance which has been under scrutiny in recent months.

“Federal crop insurance is essential to the livelihood of our producers,” Sombke said. “I’m going to tell the committee that if America wants to keep its affordable and safe food supply, we need to keep crop insurance levels where they are in the next Farm Bill.”

Members of the House Ag Committee will hear from Sombke and several other agricultural producers from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska during the field hearing. The hearing is open to the public.

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