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Why is there no insurance for livestock producers?

The news is constantly inundated with concerns about the Federal Crop Insurance Program with regard to programs currently provided and consideration of possible changes by the new administration. In all of this, there is no mention of Federal Livestock Insurance for farmers and ranchers who are in drought now and have experienced past droughts. Both winter and summer storms cause them to downsize or disperse their generational herds or lose them by casualty.

Why are their counterparts, the cereal grain producers (in many instances cereal grain producers are also livestock producers), provided federal assistance for products that have the same or similar impact in feeding our nation and the world? Why is this not perceived by our government representatives, farm organizations, livestock organizations and most of all, by the livestock producers themselves? Why has the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed this segregated system for agricultural food producers that has only included crop insurance as a safety net for crop producers?

Could it be that large conglomerates like Monsanto, Cargill, ADM and others have stronger lobbyists and are the real stakeholders in the production of cereal grains?

Editor's note: Beare lives in Fargo, N.D.

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