National Farmers Union Welcomes Effort to Broaden Disaster Assistance for Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON – On July 27th, the House Agriculture Committee approved a disaster bill that would broaden the assistance available to farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather events. In addition to extending the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), the WHIP+ Milk Loss Program, and the On-Farm Storage Loss Program for 2020 and 2021, the legislation would also expand the causes of loss covered by WHIP+ and streamline its administration.

As farmers across the West endure severe drought, wildfires, and unusually high temperatures, it is critical that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance programs can effectively respond – particularly because these and other environmental challenges are expected to become more frequent and extreme with climate change. In a statement, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew welcomed the committee’s action and urged passage of the bill.

“We sincerely appreciate the House Agriculture Committee’s commitment to addressing the losses farmers and ranchers are suffering due to natural disasters.

“This year, a severe drought blanketing the Western half of the country is forcing some to make financially and emotionally painful decisions like fallowing their land or selling off their herds. Unfortunately, these kinds of extreme weather events are only expected to worsen in the years to come – making it harder and harder for farmers to stay in business.

“Our disaster assistance programs will need to keep up with the growing pressures our members are facing. Today, the House Agriculture Committee made the right move by advancing this bill to help ensure that we have access to the support we need in a timely manner. Given the urgency of the matter, the House and Senate should act quickly to pass this measure.”

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.