February 22, 2005

Craig, Crapo, urge AG Secretary to Support Sugarbeet Producers' Proposal Regarding Disaster Aid Program

WASHINGTON, DC â?? Senator Larry Craig, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, sent a letter Friday to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman urging her to consider the recommendations of the sugarbeet industry regarding the administration of the disaster aid program for their crops. Sixteen additional Senators joined Craig and Crapo in sending the letter. â??We hope the Secretary will give her full consideration to those sugarbeet growers most affected by the extreme drought conditions across the nation,â?? Senator Craig said. â??I look forward to working closely with the Secretary, Senator Crapo, and the industry as the USDA moves forward in this process.â?? Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, â??Farmers in Idaho need drought relief as soon as possible, and the sugarbeet growers have provided a blueprint for the Administration on their specific needs. The industry's proposed relief plan is sound and fills the needs farmers are now facing. It deserves a full review by the Agriculture Department.â?? The letter reads in part, â??After a great deal of discussion, the growers across the nation have come to a united position regarding the administration of the disaster aid program for their sugarbeet crop. In their recommendations, they have closely followed the provisions for other commodities to assure that coverage for sugarbeets is targeted, provides fairness and equity among qualified recipients, and rewards participation in crop insurance. We direct your attention to the industry proposal recently sent directly to you, and urge you to consider its recommendations as you implement this important program.â?? The full text of the letter is attached.[30]February 28, 2003The Honorable Ann M. VenemanSecretaryUS Department of Agriculture1400 Independence Avenue, SWWashington, DC 20250Dear Secretary Veneman:When the Congress recently passed important disaster relief for America's farmers, it included a specific provision to assist our nation's sugarbeet growers. Ninety percent of the industry's processing capacity is now owned by thousands of family farmers in our states. As you know, several farmer-owned cooperatives have recently been formed and the disaster they have been enduring is occurring at a most critical time in their transition to farmer-owned cooperatives. Thousands of growers, scores of local banks, and dozens of communities are counting on this aid to help them respond to the devastation caused by acts of nature. After a great deal of discussion, the growers across the nation have come to a united position regarding the administration of the disaster aid program for their sugarbeet crop. In their recommendations, they have closely followed the provisions for other commodities to assure that coverage for sugarbeets is targeted, provides fairness and equity among qualified recipients, and rewards participation in crop insurance. We direct your attention to the industry proposal recently sent directly to you, and urge you to consider its recommendations as you implement this important program.Thank you for your prompt attention and support of this matter. We look forward to working with you in the weeks ahead to help sustain one of our nation's most important agricultural industries. Sincerely,_______________________________ ______________________________Larry E. Craig Norm Coleman United States Senator United States Senator Secretary Veneman page 2____________________________________ ___________________________________Mike Crapo Max BaucusUnited States Senator United States Senator_______________________________ ______________________________Kent Conrad Craig ThomasUnited States Senator United States Senator_______________________________ ______________________________Mike Enzi Ron WydenUnited States Senator United States Senator________________________________ ______________________________Ben Nelson Byron DorganUnited States Senator United States Senator________________________________ ______________________________Ben Nighthorse Campbell Wayne AllardUnited States Senator United States Senator_________________________________ ______________________________Chuck Hagel Carl LevinUnited States Senator United States Senator Secretary Veneman page 3________________________________________ ___________________________________Gordon Smith Debbie StabenowUnited States Senator United States Senator__________________________________ ______________________________Conrad Burns Mark DaytonUnited States Senator United States Senator