Searching for Stability: Farmers Discuss Impact of New Farm Bill

Growers say the new bill should help younger people get into farming

FARGO, N.D. — With tariffs and falling commodity prices, 2018 proved to be a tough year for farmers across North Dakota.

As they get ready for a new year, farmers say the new Farm Bill will give them a cushion to stay afloat economically.

“We’ve got a five–year program so we can make plans you can make plans and have stability. The stability that if you have a bad crop and things go to a pot, there’s a program there that will help you get through that time,” said Randy Richards, a farmer from

At a roundtable discussion at NDSU, Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) talked with local producers about how the farm bill gives younger growers reasons to stay in agriculture.

With the US Department of Labor saying the average farmer is sixty years old, Sen. Hoeven says increased protection is important to prevent producers from leaving the farm.

“Whether it’s the loan programs, whether it’s improving commodity prices, access to crop insurance, all these things. We’ve got to transition this younger generation into agriculture and it takes a lot of capital to do that, which is why we have to put these things together to help these farmers and ranchers,” said Sen. Hoeven.

Even though he says the new Farm Bill has mostly been helpful, Richards says other things need to happen over the next few years to keep agriculture profitable down the road.

“We still need to fix the tariffs, we still need to get a price. Bottom line is farm programs are as good as a safety net, but they’re not going to bring young producers in unless there’s a commodity price increase so they can make a profit and want to come back to farming,” Richards said.

As Chairman of the Ag Appropriations Committee, Sen. Hoeven told farmers he will continue to support research being conducted at the NDSU Agriculture Greenhouse.

Categories: Agriculture, Local News, North Dakota News