SDFU supports Sen. Johnson in efforts to protect COOL

Farm Forum

HURON — South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke credits Sen. Tim Johnson for his role in protecting Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

“Since the beginning, Sen. Johnson has been a champion for South Dakota’s livestock producers who depend on COOL to inform consumers on where their meat comes from,” said Sombke.

As the bill’s original author, Sen. Johnson was instrumental in getting it passed. Today, despite repeated attempts by opponents of COOL to repeal the program during consideration of the farm bill, Johnson remains successful in maintaining the current statute in the final bill.

Sombke references the Oct. 7, 2014, announcement that Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) joined with 31 of his Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle in sending a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) urging them to reject any efforts that would undermine, weaken or suspend Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) through the appropriations process for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015.

“While there are some in Congress who will try to use the appropriations process as a way to weaken Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), I remain committed to maintaining full funding for this critical program,” said Johnson. “COOL is a valuable marketing tool for South Dakota producers, and consumers deserve to know where their meat comes from. I was pleased that this year’s farm bill maintained COOL, and I will continue to fight for this program on behalf of producers and consumers.”