Could 2019 be the year of the farmer?

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Senator John Thune is praising the Senate passage of the Farm Bill.

In a tweet on Thursday he wrote, "it will give South Dakota farmers and ranchers the flexibility, security, and certainty they want and need."

James Halverson, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, agrees. He says the bill will continue several important programs.

However, not every program is a win for South Dakota. Specifically, Halverson says the Land and Water Conservation Act allows the federal government access to purchase more land. Overall, he says the bill is a win for South Dakota producers.

"They maintained a lot of the funding for the conservation programs which there are varying opinion on that. I think a lot of those are probably going to be good things for land owners and producers," Halverson said. "They maintained a lot of the funding for the live stock forage program and the live stock indemnity program which really helps our ranchers out in this part of the country. Those are huge wins."

Halverson says the farm bill, along with the passage of the U-S-M-C-A and a major purchase of soybeans from China, is making 2019 look like a good year for the ag community.