Scott introduces bill to help small cattle producers
House Ag Committee chairman bill provides insurance premium subsidy for small ranchers and establishes indemnity program.
Jul 29, 2022
House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott introduced the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act aimed at helping provide additional resources to small ranchers. However, the largest cattle group was not consulted in the drafting of the bill and expressed initial concerns with the bill.
“As I have said time and again, it is a crisis in this nation that we have lost an average of 17,000 cattle ranchers per year. The drivers of this loss are complex and multi-faceted, and I applaud many of the efforts my colleagues have taken to try and improve the cattle industry,” Scott says. “While their legislative proposals tackle issues like consolidation and transparency, I have not seen enough emphasis on direct help for our small farmers and ranchers. The Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act that I introduced today does just that.”
The first pillar of Scott’s bill provides small cattle operations with financial assistance by strengthening the safety net. The legislation achieves this by offering an increased premium subsidy for small ranchers (including beginning and veteran ranchers) insuring a herd of 100 cattle or less under Livestock Risk Protection insurance policies. Similar to how the Micro Farm Program provides a targeted insurance policy to small producers, this additional premium assistance will make a key risk management tool more affordable for our small producers. In addition, the bill offers incentives for insurance agents to better market Livestock Risk Protection policies to small producers.
The bill also creates a USDA indemnity program that provides relief to small producers when the price spread dramatically exceeds a historical average. This program provides small producers with a safety net to protect against volatility and unfairness in the marketplace.
It also provides resources to USDA to educate producers and insurance agents on the utility of the livestock insurance programs and the safety net program. This makes existing insurance products more accessible and facilitates enrollment in the new program.
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