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President of SD Cattlemen endorses new livestock risk management bill

WASHINGTON, DC – South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson and co-sponsors have introduced the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act. The measure provides funding to certain state land grant universities to better equip livestock producers with risk management training. South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA) President Steve Ollerich says the bill will be helpful for cattle producers.

“I think it would be helpful. We got to take whatever we can get and do the best we can with it,” says Ollerich.  “There is a lot of trouble out there with all the water and bad weather. We don’t have any policy on it from the cattlemen but I think for the most part, they support it.”

The legislation also provides resources to improve livestock producer’s knowledge of futures contracts and risk management strategies to allow them to better anticipate cattle prices. Ollerich says that should help them through the latest challenges.

“Some guys couldn’t get their wheat out and if they got it sold, what are they going to do?” he asks.  “The price of cattle is down quite a bit from last year. The calves are down. The fat cattle are drastically down. So we have to explore any possibility we can get to get back on track again,” says Ollerich.

He says Johnson and his colleagues have come up with a good measure that should have bipartisan support and have a good chance at passage in the House.

“Congressman Johnson really likes to work with anybody that can do better for the farmers and ranchers.  I got to applaud him on that,” observes Ollerich. “On both sides – the Democrats and the Republicans – I think this is really good legislation and working together, it’s nice for the public to see.”

The Livestock Risk Management and Education Act would authorize the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to provide resources through certain state land grant universities to improve livestock producers’ knowledge of futures markets to better manage market volatility.

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