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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is a fighter for North Dakota family farmers and ranchers. Heidi has a long history of working with ag groups in our state and serves on the U.S.Senate ag committee. She is following in the footsteps of Sen. Kent Conrad to represent the needs of North Dakota farmers and ranchers. She knows the Farm Bill – up for renewal by September — is important not only to her home state but to the nation as a whole. It serves as a safety net to both family farmers and ranchers and U.S. consumers.

The Farm Bill has many facets ranging from crop insurance, disaster and commodity supports, and rural development to conservation programs and supplemental nutrition programs. Heidi knows that Americans need a safe, affordable food supply and that situations arise in both the producers’ and consumers’ livelihoods that require the safety nets of the Farm Bill.

At a time when the USDA Economic Research Service projects that 2018 will be the fifth year of decline in farm income – Heidi’s opponents talk about cutting the Farm Bill programs. This will not serve North Dakotans well. Our state’s number 1 industry cannot thrive without a strong Farm Bill and high Renewable Fuel Standards that increase demand for and raise crop prices. Our communities cannot survive without USDA Rural Development and our vulnerable children, disabled and elderly need nutrition assistance through the Farm Bill’s food programs.

Kevin Cramer doesn’t show these concerns. His ideological mission in Congress keeps him from pursuing the bipartisan, pragmatic solutions that Heidi constantly keeps fighting for in her service to North Dakota. It is now our turn as North Dakota family farmers, ranchers and citizens to be pragmatic and support Heidi’s re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Patti Patrie, Bowdon

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