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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 21 / 53

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MR. DENNIS PETERSON:  Good afternoon.  My name is Dennis Peterson.  I'm from Montevideo, Minnesota, and I live in Yellow Medicine County.  Like the [tape break]

MODERATOR:  Bend that microphone up if you would a little bit and get real close to it.

MR. GREG STUDEMAN:  I am Greg Studeman from Plato, Minnesota.  I am a former 20-plus-year employee of the Farm Service Agency, having left last fall to be the fifth generation farmer on my grandfather’s farm.

I would like to thank John Monson for his endless efforts.

MODERATOR:  Hang on just a moment.  We’ll let you start over with your time.

MR. GREG STUDEMAN:  This isn’t on my two minutes, is it?

MODERATOR:  No.  You are actually going to get more than two minutes.  You are a special person.  Okay.  Go ahead.

MR. GREG STUDEMAN:  I would also like to thank John Monson , my former state executive director up in front there for his endless efforts to make opportunities such as this possible.  He does a lot of stuff behind the scenes that nobody really knows about.

            An attribute that Mr. Monson instills in people he directs is to never hesitate at thinking outside of the box when looking to the future.  It’s with this mindset that I bring several ideas for the next Farm Bill.  I believe the vast majority of producers would agree that a stronger safety net should be provided for both lower prices and reduced yields.  I would suggest eliminating all direct payments in exchange for a stronger safety net.  Some of the direct payments are now based on yields and acreage bases established over 20 years ago and others are no longer reflective of current plantings, and at best, only cover 85 percent of the yields that were assigned over 25 years ago.  I would suggest covering the entire production with deficiency payments in times of low prices and let the market deliver in times of higher prices.

Let’s face it, every time we issue an increase in direct payments, rents seem to go up at the same rate.  These direct payments are simply remnants of the old diversion payments that did nothing to help America compete globally.

Another item I have here would be to establish a standing disaster program to establish producers who suffer an insurable loss but only to the extent of the uninsured loss.  I’m talking about the amount up to the 35 percent lost production that producer suffers at his expense before collecting a dime from RMA.  I would compensate this production at the county loan rate and also make the lost production eligible to collect a

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