Representative Dusty Johnson is courting farm country

South Dakota is one of only a handful of states to have an at-large representative. That means only one member of the U.S. House represents the entire state. Congressman Dusty Johnson is hoping to win his first full term next month and he is now courting farm country.

Johnson, a House Ag Committee, is hoping to shore up the supply chain with new cattle marketing legislation.

“We’re hopeful that we can get the PRICE Act done sooner, rather than later, but if we don’t, I think the PRICE Act creates an excellent template for what a cattle title in the Farm Bill could be,” Rep. Johnson said.

The bill would address transparency in the cattle market, improve risk management, and support new and expanding meat processors.

He also says that it is important to protect crop insurance programs.

“We also have a crop insurance program. It’s not perfect but it has well served the needs of American producers for decades,” he said. “More and more, I feel like rural America is a little bit on the defense in protecting that crop insurance title. I think we want to make sure we are carrying a ton of water in keeping that alive and strong.”

Congressman Johnson says that he is working with the Trade Ambassadors to expand market access. He says the U.S. is making progress on deals with the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Kenya. He says the U.S. is also working toward Phase Two deals with Japan and China.

“Everyone of those deals has real opportunities for American agriculture and every time I talk to Ambassador Dodd or Ambassador Lighthizer, you can guarantee that I’m talking soybeans, I’m talking corn, I’m talking beef, I’m talking pork,” he said. “These are real opportunities for America in the years to come.”

Around 20 years ago, Johnson worked for USDA Rural Development and later co-owned an engineering firm that would build broadband systems. He says that experience guides his work in Congress:

“There are only 45 members out of 435 in Congress who represent districts that are mostly rural by population. So, for those of us who really understand rural infrastructure, who understand the importance of the REA, USF, and interstate highway systems, we have to be the ambassadors, the Johnny Appleseed, of how its not just rural America that’s stronger when we have strong rural infrastructure-- it’s our country,” he said.

Congressman Johnson has also been part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers looking to find a compromise on the next coronavirus aid package.

For the full interview with Congressman Johnson, click HERE.

For more election coverage, click HERE.