Amy for America
For Immediate Release
: May 25, 2019

Senator Klobuchar Unveils Policy Priorities Supporting Farmers During Weekend Swing Through Iowa

DES MOINES, IA — Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will highlight her policy priorities as President for America’s farmers. These policies will help farmers in bankruptcy, put farmers before big oil companies and improve access to capital for family farmers. 

“The success of America’s family farms is critical to the economic well-being of our country," Senator Klobuchar said. "As President, I will work to improve access to capital for family farmers, allow farmers in bankruptcy to keep their farms, and will always put our farmers before the interests of big oil companies. While the Trump Administration has offered nothing but chaos, these proposals will help provide much needed stability, flexibility and certainty for America’s farmers.”

Over the weekend in Iowa, from stops in Decorah to Iowa Falls, Senator Klobuchar will talk with Iowa voters about her plan to prioritize American farmers and families.

America’s prosperity depends on supporting our farms and rural communities, but farmers and ranchers are facing uncertainty, including natural disasters and low commodity prices that contribute to a net farm income that’s down 50% from 2013. In many regions, farm bankruptcy rates are reaching their highest point in a decade, and for too many family farmers, there is no simple path to relief.

Highlights of Senator Klobuchar’s Policies to Help American Farmers: 

Helping Farmers in Bankruptcy

  • In many regions, farm bankruptcy rates are reaching their highest point in a decade due to persistently low commodity prices, economic uncertainty and tight farm lending regulations. Congress established Chapter 12 of the U.S. bankruptcy code to remove costly reorganization requirements intended for large corporations.
  • As President, Senator Klobuchar will work to allow more family farmers to seek relief under Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which allows family farmers to reorganize after falling on hard times.
  • Senator Klobuchar has introduced bipartisan legislation to allow more family farmers to seek relief under the program by raising the Chapter 12 operating debt cap to $10 million.
Putting Farmers Before Big Oil Companies

  • The misguided overuse of RFS waivers by the EPA could cripple the homegrown biofuels market for years to come. As President, Senator Klobuchar will completely overhaul small refinery waivers and greatly increase transparency.
  • Big financial institutions are manipulating the market for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Senator Klobuchar supports strong new compliance standards and additional oversight.
  • To remove regulatory uncertainty, we must pass legislation that would allow for year-round E15 sales.
  • Senator Klobuchar has been a leader when it comes to standing up to the Administration’s misuse of small refinery RFS waivers. 
Improving Access to Capital for Family Farmers

  • In this time of low commodity prices and uncertainty, family farmers and producers remain concerned that the current cap on farm loans do not grant them the flexibility they need, that’s why Senator Klobuchar will increase the maximum loan amount that an individual farmer or rancher can receive under the direct farm ownership and operating loans, targeting these loans to small and beginning farmers.
  • These loans will help farmers weather the downturn and beginning farmers by helping with loans to purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings and other fixtures, develop farmland to promote soil and water conservation, and to refinance debt.
  • In the 2018 Farm Bill, Senator Klobuchar successfully increased the maximum loan amount that an individual farmer could receive under direct loan and farm operating loan programs.