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Noem Half-and-Half on Major Farmers Union Issues, But She’s Always Happy to See Them

South Dakota Farmers Union (which is currently paying me money to circulate a petition) brought a big crew to Congress last week for its annual D.C. Fly-In to lobby for farm-friendly legislation:

Together with 270 farmers and ranchers from across the nation, South Dakotans helped conduct hundreds of targeted meetings with nearly every Congressional and Senatorial official on Capitol Hill.

The meetings focused on the following issues:

  1. Gathering support behind the Senate bill supporting voluntary Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL);
  2. Opposing any legislative changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while urging Congress to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s flawed proposal for 2014-2016 ethanol blending targets because they are well below the statutory limits;
  3. Urging Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to restore full trade and tourism with Cuba, and urging support of a Senate Agriculture Appropriations Amendment that requires a comprehensive risk assessment plan be in place before resuming trade with parts of Argentina and Brazil that have a history of Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks.

Farmers Union members also met with U.S. Department of Agriculture leaders and key White House staff.

“This was an amazing opportunity to visit about our agriculture operations and how the decisions made here in D.C. impact our farms and ranches in South Dakota,” said Tammy Basel, a fourth generation South Dakota rancher who raises sheep and cattle near Union Center with her husband Dallis [“South Dakotans Bring Farm & Ranch Issues to Congress During National Farmers Union Annual Legislative Fly,” South Dakota Farmers Union, 2015.09.22].

Farmers Union got Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s attention. Back in June, Rep. Noem backed Farmers Union’s position on COOL but worked hard to pass TPP, which only weakens our ability to inspect and label imported food. Rep. Noem appears to be on the Farmers Union track on RFS, opposing the EPA’s proposed cuts in ethanol requirements.

If her stand with Farmers Union is half-and-half, Rep. Noem will always wholeheartedly stand for pictures:

Rep. Kristi Noem, tweet, 2015.09.17.
Rep. Kristi Noem, tweet, 2015.09.17.

Always great to see Farmers Union—”always”, Rep. Noem? Since taking office, you have declined to see Farmers Union at their State Fair debates, saying Farmers Union is unfair and partisan. I can only assume that Rep. Noem’s pleasantry past week means we can count on a fine face-to-face between Rep. Noem and challenger Paula Hawks at the State Fair in 2016! We could dedicate a whole hour of debate just to TPP! Whoo-hoo!

But this assumes Paula Hawks doesn’t think Farmers Union is too partisan. Check that SDFU press release again: Tammy Basel?! She’s a Union Center Republican! Can any Democrat take a chance attending a debate hosted by a group that would let a Republican speak for it in Washington?!


  1. larry kurtz 2015-09-24 09:17

    Noem: Major Issues Label Farmers.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-09-24 11:43

    I’ll bet farmers applauded Noem’s slashes to food stamps because farmers don’t need that extra income.

  3. jerry 2015-09-24 13:06

    I do not think most farmers and ranchers understand the benefit they receive from food stamps.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2015-09-24 16:30

    You’re right, farmers don’t always understand how food stamps benefit them. I’ve had years long debate with a farmer on the Pine Ridge that hates food stamps, yet he is proud of the fact that he accepts all the benefits of the farm bill because HE feeds the country.
    I’ll tell you who does understand the food stamp program, and that is the major big box stores and mom and pop groceries that probably derive most of their monthly income from food stamps.
    You can bet your hind foot that Walmart, Safeway, and grocery lobbyist will not allow any major cuts to the program.

  5. Paul Seamans 2015-09-24 16:43

    While farmers receive many benefits from the government, as a farmer I am aware of that, it is really not the farmer that the government is trying to protect. It is the corporations that the government is protecting. The people that sell the farmers their inputs. The Monsantos, the John Deere’s, the Bank of Americas.

  6. mike from iowa 2015-09-24 17:14

    Obama signed the Farm Bill with 6 plus billion dollar cuts in SNAP benefits. Half of the savings in the Farm Bill came on the backs of the poor. Fortunately many governors were able to end run the cuts and restore much of the cuts to the neediest-no,not the koch bros.

  7. mike from iowa 2015-09-24 17:16

    Sorry,that was over 8 billion in cuts to SNAP,not 6 billion.

  8. jerry 2015-09-25 17:20

    Here is what NOem and the rest of the party of NO are really all about. Nancy Pelosi said it the best way possible. No matter what we say or no matter what the Farmers Union’s issues are or are not, here is Ms. NOem’s republicans on what they really think. If you are a farmer, rancher or just a plain citizen, this should make you think. Remember, not so many days ago, one October week, we had a blizzard that devastated the cattle herds in our state. I would remind that during and after that blizzard, our government was shut down by NOem and her treasonous group so that ranchers and farmers were on their own to figure out what to do with the dead cattle. October is soon, what will happen next? Here are her words:

    “Public awareness is the strongest, strongest opportunity we have for keeping government open. […] Shutting down government is drastic. In our caucus this morning, we had read to us by our ranking member Nita Lowey all the things that will happen if they shut down government—who are affected in terms of our veterans, who are affected in terms of children and nutrition. It is a stunning array. One of the things that people have said is, if we only let government shut down for one day but really did not mitigate for the damage, then the American people would really know how bad this is. […]
    “[When the 2013 shutdown came] we lost at that time 25 billion dollars in our economy, it curtailed the growth of our GDP, it put people out of work—at least 30 percent of the federal workforce are veterans—are veterans—and we all profess to worship at the shrine of our veterans. And yet, they will very casually shut down government, having various degrees of impact on our federal workers.

    “This all comes down to the fact that the Republicans in Congress, if you take some of the issues we talked about, are anti-governance—not government. […] The degree of government has been the debate in our country for a couple hundred years. How much government? How much federal, how much local and state? So that’s a legitimate place of where you are on the spectrum. But anti-governance—shut it down and celebrate—that is unacceptable. And President Washington, as he was leaving office, cautioned against political parties of which were at war with their own government. And that’s really what we’re seeing evidence of now—a political party at war with its own government.”

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