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Sheryl Johnson statement on the proposed Farm Bill, on behalf of South Dakota

Updated: Jun 3

South Dakota depends on agriculture. Every five years, Congress has a chance to make sure our country can feed ourselves, ourselves. That’s often called “food security,” and the legislation to ensure it is the Farm Bill. The one we’re seeing right now is not good for South Dakotans and could leave a lot of people hungry, hitting our tribal and rural communities especially hard.

Having grown up on a farm, I am deeply committed to the well-being of South Dakota’s farmers and our agricultural community. I’m really glad to see there was a lot of bipartisan agreement on big portions of the bill that’s being debated, but it falls short and leaves out far too many people in South Dakota. It would take food away from hungry families with the largest cuts in decades to SNAP, a food program many South Dakotans depend on.

The proposed Farm Bill is a critical piece of legislation that would have far-reaching impacts on our state’s economy, our food supply, and our way of life. We also have to remember that food security is national security, educational security, and job security. This version of the normally bipartisan Farm Bill is sadly another example of Rep. Dusty Johnson using his vote to cave in to his big-money donors and abandoning hardworking SD families.

The impact will be especially hard on families who can’t afford the high cost of daycare. Now Dusty is supporting a bill that will literally take food out of these families’ mouths. Hungry children have a hard time learning. Hungry parents, worried about their children, have a hard time working. This bill needs to support working parents.

That’s why we need a SD Mom in Congress who will ensure that families are the top priority. Voting for bills like this one is far too typical from those beholden to the rich and the big corporations. It hurts South Dakota working families. In one of the richest countries, we should not have our kids going hungry. That’s ridiculous.

The career politicians lurking in D.C. know that there aren’t enough votes in both chambers to support cuts in SNAP, which means this bill has no chance of becoming law and therefore just wastes precious time. Congress needs to pass a bill that is good for America, without cutting out pieces that are vital for South Dakota farmers and families, options that support South Dakotans without lining the pockets of big corporations.

The kind of bipartisan work I’ll do in Congress is still possible. We saw the House Armed Services Committee pass the Defense Authorization bill with a slanted bipartisan vote of 57-1! Crucial work was done by moving as a bipartisan force for common sense and getting things done.

Here’s why the right bill is essential for South Dakota:

Support for Small and Family-Owned Farms

We must provide vital support to small and family-owned farms that are the backbone of our rural communities. By offering financial assistance, technical support, and resources for sustainable farming practices, we can ensure that these farms remain viable and productive for future generations.

Crop Insurance and Disaster Relief

In the face of unpredictable weather and natural disasters, we have to consider crop insurance and disaster relief. These strengthen a safety net for our farmers, helping them recover from rough conditions so they can continue their crucial work of feeding us and our nation.

Investment in Rural Infrastructure

While the proposed bill includes investments in rural infrastructure, including improvements to some roads, bridges, and broadband internet access, we can do more and do better. These improvements are critical for the success of modern farming operations and for the quality of life in our rural communities.

Support for Conservation and Sustainability

Our farmers are committed caretakers of the land, and the Farm Bill’s focus on conservation and sustainable practices is essential. By promoting soil health, water conservation, and responsible land management, we can ensure the long-term productivity and environmental health of our agricultural land.

Market Access and Trade

Expanding market access and securing fair trade agreements are vital components of the Farm Bill. These provisions help South Dakota’s farmers reach new markets, both domestically and internationally, ensuring they receive fair prices for their products and remain competitive, globally.

Research and Innovation

Investing in agricultural research and innovation is key to addressing the challenges of tomorrow. We need a Farm Bill that supports research that develops new technologies and practices, helping our farmers increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve crop yields.


We must pass a new congressional Farm Bill that represents a comprehensive approach to supporting and sustaining the agricultural community and working families in South Dakota. It must address the needs of our farmers, promote economic growth, ensure the resilience of our food systems, and feed those in need. I urge all stakeholders to recognize the importance of this legislation and to work together to pass a Farm Bill that meets the needs of our South Dakota communities.

As your next Congresswoman, I will always advocate for policies that support our farmers, strengthen our rural communities, ensure the prosperity of South Dakota’s agricultural sector, and provide assistance to SD families and kids.


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