Kristi Noem

Kristi Noem

SOUTH DAKOTA

Weekly Column: South Dakota Goes Global

2014/08/29

Standing on my ranch in northeastern South Dakota, we’re about 6,700 miles from China; 7,900 miles from India; 4,900 miles from Brazil; and 9,100 miles from South Africa.  Needless to say, we’re a long ways away from everyone else, but we are far from disconnected. Like hundreds of South Dakota farms, the food and cattle we’ve raised here has likely been consumed on nearly every continent.  Meanwhile, the products manufactured in Rapid City, Brookings, Sioux Falls and elsewhere have been used to improve the lives of millions across the globe.  When you think about it, it’s a small world.

All in all, South Dakota exports nearly $5 billion worth of goods and services to customers in 169 countries annually – and our relationship with the international community is only growing.

Earlier this year, I met with leaders in South Korea, China, and Japan to discuss our relationship with the region as it related to both trade and national security.  Of note, China is the largest purchaser of U.S. soybeans, representing about 50 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and Japan is the largest importer of feed grains and U.S. corn.  They both – along with South Korea – also play key roles in keeping the regional peace, and alongside it economic stability, in an area that is also home to an unpredictable North Korea.

The sheer economic heft of Asia – combined with the fact that more than half the world’s population lives there – makes it all the more important that Asian consumers can easily purchase American goods, services, and agricultural products.  During many of my conversations in Asia, it was made clear that the Asia-Pacific region not only needed our products to feed their quickly growing populations, but also had a specific demand for American-grown and American-made products because of their superior quality.  As an experienced farmer and rancher, I was pretty proud to hear that the work we put into our family’s operation was reflected when those products were consumed.

Understanding the opportunity for South Dakota producers and manufacturers, I have been supportive of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or a new trade agreement with the region, that would expand our access to the Asia-Pacific market.  Currently, nearly half of South Dakota’s exports are bound for the 11 other countries that would be involved in the TPP and a further elimination of trade barriers would only expand our opportunities.

We’re still actively negotiating TPP, and before we sign on the dotted line, changes need to be made that secure the U.S. ag industry’s access to all involved markets.  For instance, I have serious concerns that Japan’s current position would restrict market access by keeping trade barriers up on key agricultural products.  I’ve shared these concerns with the U.S. Trade Representative negotiating the deal as well as with the leaders I met while in Japan.  I’m hopeful we’ll find a resolve soon that is mutually beneficial.

Additionally, we are several rounds of negotiations into creating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union.  I was glad that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Europe earlier this summer to discuss agriculture’s role in T-TIP and I’ve personally reached out to our U.S. Trade Representative about making dairy a priority and ensuring trade barriers are removed for other ag products as well.

I believe there are tremendous opportunities for our state if we can expand our access to global markets.  South Dakota relies on consumers across the world, just as communities thousands of miles away rely on the crops sitting out on our fields now.  South Dakota has gone global – and that’s a very good thing for producers, manufacturers, and our communities.

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Noem Named 'Friend of the Prairie' by South Dakota Grassland Coalition

2014/08/29

Congresswoman Kristi Noem was today named a “Friend of the Prairie” by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.  Noem was recognized for her work promoting sound conservation practices and her appointment to the 2014 Farm Bill Conference Committee.

“Farmers, ranchers and hunters have long been the pillar of conservation in America, and I am proud to carry on that tradition,” said Rep. Noem.  “It is an honor to be named as a ‘Friend of the Prairie’ and I look forward to continuing this important work so future generations can enjoy native sod and grasslands as we do today.”

Jim Faulstich, Chairman of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition explained:  “As a farmer, rancher, and hunter, Congresswoman Noem understands the importance of improving stewardship of our natural resources through sustainable and profitable management.  She is truly a friend to our grasslands and South Dakota’s prairie.”

Noem was honored with the “Friend of the Prairie” award during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  This is the first year the South Dakota Grassland Coalition has offered this award.  

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Noem to Attend SD State Fair Friday

2014/08/28

Rep. Kristi Noem will be attending the South Dakota State Fair in Huron on Friday, August 29.  At 2:00PM (CT), Noem will be accepting the South Dakota Grassland Coalition’s Friend of the Prairie award near Freedom Stage. If you would like to speak with Rep. Noem at the Fair, please contact Brittany Comins at brittany.comins@mail.house.gov.

Friday, August 29, 2014

WHAT:  Noem to Attend South Dakota State Fair
WHEN:  Friday, August 29, 2014 – 11:30AM (CT)
WHERE:  South Dakota State Fairgrounds (Huron) 

WHAT:  Noem to Accept South Dakota Grassland Coalition’s Friend of the Prairie Award
WHEN:  Friday, August 29, 2014 – 2:00PM (CT)
WHERE:  Near Freedom Stage, South Dakota State Fairgrounds (Huron)

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Noem Calls on EPA to Define Regulated Navigable Waters on Map

2014/08/28

Congresswoman Kristi Noem today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to define which waters would be under EPA jurisdiction if the proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule was adopted.  The announcement comes in the wake of new EPA maps (see the South Dakota map here) that were only recently made available after pressure from Congress. These maps have raised additional questions about how extensive the EPA’s regulatory authority could become.

“To see the miles upon miles of waterways on this EPA map is extremely alarming.  This could very well be one of the largest federal land grabs in US history,” said Rep. Noem.  “These new maps outline thousands of miles of waterways that could be subject to new permitting requirements and stiff fines if private property owners are found in violation.  I am calling on the EPA to define which of these waterways would be exempt from EPA jurisdiction under their proposal. We cannot have every ditch, pond, and stock dam under the EPA’s control.”

On March 25, 2014, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule that could assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas on public and private property that are connected to navigable waters.  As written, the rule aggressively expands federal authority under the Clean Water Act while bypassing Congress and creating unnecessary ambiguity.

Most recently, in July, Noem co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would stop the EPA and Army Corps from implementing the rule.  In May, Rep. Noem joined 231 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in urging the EPA and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw the proposed rule.  She also questioned the USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at an Agriculture Committee hearing in June. Here, the Congresswoman raised concerns about the lack of clarity the interpretive rule would provide to producers and questioned why the administration is pursuing the rule when so many are opposed to it (watch the exchange here).

To view a copy of each of the EPA maps released by the Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee Lamar Smith, please click here.

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Noem in Brookings, Madison Tuesday

2014/08/26

Rep. Kristi Noem will be in Brookings and Madison on Tuesday, August 26, to address the Brookings Rotary Club and hold a roundtable with elected officials and business leaders in Madison.  If you would like to cover the event, please contact Brittany Comins at brittany.comins@mail.house.gov.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WHAT:  Noem to Address the Brookings Rotary Club
WHEN:  Tuesday, August 26, 2014 – 12:00PM-1:00PM (CT)
WHERE:  Brookings Activity Center (320 5th Avenue, Brookings)

WHAT:  Noem to Hold Roundtable in Madison
WHEN:  Tuesday, August 26, 2014 – 4:15PM-5:00PM (CT)
WHERE:  Madison Area Chamber of Commerce (315 South Egan Avenue, Madison)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Rep. Noem will be holding a roundtable with local elected officials and business leaders to discuss the issues important to them

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Noem to Participate in Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk

2014/08/23

Rep. Kristi Noem and her family will participate in the Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk on Saturday, August 23, in Sioux Falls, SD.  The event begins at 8:45AM.  If you would like to cover the event, please contact Brittany Comins at brittany.comins@mail.house.gov.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WHAT:  Noem to Participate in Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk

WHEN:  Saturday, August 23, 2014 – 8:45AM-11:00AM (CT)

WHERE:  Falls Park West, Sioux Falls

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Rep. Noem and her family will be participating in the American Heart Association’s Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk.  The walk works to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun, family environment.  For more information on the event, please visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Eastern-South-Dakota-Heart-Walk_UCM_461619_Event.jsp

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Weekly Column: Addressing the Barricade between Field and Market

2014/08/22

Driving through South Dakota this week, you could see that folks are making good progress on small grains throughout the state.  There’s a lot of wheat and barley stubble already out there.  And many farmers I’ve spoken with are thinking it’s going to be a pretty strong soybean and corn harvest come September-October. 

While we’re only beginning to get in the field, grain elevators are already filling up and finding it extremely difficult to get the rail cars necessary to empty the bins.  It’s pushing the basis – or how much the elevator charges producers for transportation, storage, and other operational costs – higher and higher, undermining the already deflated prices.  I’ve farmed nearly all my life.  I understand how frustrating it is to see a great crop come in the hopper and know it’s just not worth what it should be.  We have to resolve this backlog.

This winter was tough, which compounded delays early on, and with many locomotives being pulled to North Dakota to move oil, the railroads never returned to business as usual.  I have met with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Canadian Pacific, and the new Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern (RCP&E) and have had very frank conversations about the level of service in our state.  Progress is being made, but it’s far from what’s needed to get our commodities to market this fall.

BNSF and Canadian Pacific have been providing the Surface Transportation Board, which offers oversight of the rail industry, with the required status reports that I have been closely reviewing.  More information is needed than initial reporting requirements mandated, however, so I was glad to see the Board come forward in mid-August with updated requirements.

More specifically, when the line was sold to RCP&E earlier this year, Canadian Pacific agreed to help supplement the smaller railway with locomotives and cars.  While RCP&E has requested 500 cars from Canadian Pacific per week, they receive an average of just 300 to 400, far less than what is necessary to empty the elevators.  As a result, the Board is requiring Canadian Pacific to lay out how they plan to get RCP&E the 500 cars per week that they need. 

Additionally, Canadian Pacific will be required to report the number of locomotives moving inbound and outbound from the RCP&E system onto the Canadian Pacific system.  With this information, we can make sure that when cars are available, a locomotive is there to move them down the line.

Meanwhile, BNSF will need to provide an expanded plan on their efforts to deal with the coming harvest as well as show performance for grain shuttle trains by region.

These new requirements are intended to give shippers and producers more relevant and accurate information as we approach the harvest peak while also putting down markers so railroads can be held more accountable for meeting the needs of farmers in South Dakota.

The situation is improving.  Rail companies have made significant investments and have committed to even greater ones.  But they’re not ready for this year’s harvest.

I know farmers are frustrated and I’ve spoken to many who are looking to build or find alternative storage options as the rail companies resolve the backlog.  I understand what it’s like and I’m committed to ensuring railroads follow through on the promises they’ve made to put more grain cars and locomotives on the tracks in South Dakota.  I will continue to put pressure on BNSF and Canadian Pacific to do all they can to move our commodities to market this harvest.  I know producers are relying on it.

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Hearing draws large crowd

2014/08/19

Hot Springs Star... Read More

Chairman impressed with Hot Springs

2014/08/19

Hot Springs Star... Read More

Rep. Noem: Protect college students from sexual assault

2014/08/18

The Hill... Read More

Hot Springs VA gains at least one new friend

2014/08/15

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Meade County Firewise trains veterans and develops friendships

2014/08/15

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Veterans Get Job Skills, Protect Black Hills Homes

2014/08/15

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Noem learns about Veteran in the Woods initiative

2014/08/15

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Noem to Tour Firewise Site near Blackhawk Friday

2014/08/15

Rep. Kristi Noem will be touring a Firewise site near Blackhawk, South Dakota, on Friday, August 15, at 10:00AM (MT).  The site is part of the “Veteran in the Woods” initiative, which helps employ veterans to complete forest restoration and pine beetle mitigation projects. If you would like to cover the event, please contact Brittany Comins at brittany.comins@mail.house.gov.

Friday, August 15, 2014

WHAT:  Noem to Tour Firewise Site
WHEN:  Friday, August 15 – 10:00AM (MT)
WHERE:  Home of Mr. Stanley Anderson (8221 Chickadee Lane, Blackhawk, SD)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  The site Noem will be visiting is part of the “Veteran in the Woods” initiative, which helps employ veterans to complete forest restoration and pine beetle mitigation projects.

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Weekly Column: Returning to Campus: What we're doing to keep students safe

2014/08/15

We’re taking my oldest daughter back to college this week.  It’s hard to believe that she’s going to be a Junior already!  I hope and pray that she understands just how proud Bryon and I are of her and what she’s working to achieve.  We trust that she’ll make the right decisions, but it’s still hard not to feel uneasy sometimes because we just don’t have control over who surrounds her anymore.

South Dakota is extremely blessed to have college campuses filled with tremendous faculty, personnel and students.  While our campuses are much safer than many around the country, today’s college culture can sometimes put good kids in bad situations.

Nationwide, one in five young women and one in 16 young men are targets of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault while they are college students, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  The vast majority – about 89 percent – occur when the victim is incapacitated due to alcohol.  The independent Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network points out that college-aged women are four times more likely to face sexual assault than any other age group.

Schools have taken great strides in recent years to improve education and awareness on campuses to help guard students from putting themselves in a dangerous situation.  Reporting requirements have also helped better address complaints and deal with recurring problems.  There is more that can and should be done, however.

At the end of July, I helped introduce the House version of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act.  This is a bipartisan bill that takes aim at sexual assaults on college campuses by empowering students, strengthening accountability measures, and establishing stiff penalties for non-compliance with training and data standards.

More specifically, if passed, colleges and universities would need to designate Confidential Advisors to serve as a resource for victims.  This Advisor would help coordinate support services, provide information about options for reporting, and offer help in reporting the crime to campus authorities or law enforcement, if the survivor chooses to do so.

We’ve also created minimum training standards for on-campus personnel to ensure they are equipped to handle investigations and the disciplinary process as well as included stronger accountability provisions.  For instance, the bill prohibits athletic departments or other subgroups to handle complaints of sexual violence for members of that subgroup alone.  As such, there will be a uniform way of addressing claims of assault.  I’m hopeful this will ensure any potential bias is suppressed and that both campus authorities and local law enforcement can focus on solving the crime rather than debating jurisdiction, as has happened too often in the past.

I am very grateful to all those at our colleges and universities who help ensure our young people are safe as they work toward a college degree.  What you do is incredibly important.  With this legislation, I’m hopeful we can give you and the students you serve even more tools, resources, and guidance.

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Noem hosting VA hearing in Hot Springs

2014/08/14

Associated Press... Read More

Noem supports call for Black Hills VA chief's resignation

2014/08/14

Mitchell Daily Republic... Read More

Congress visits Hot Springs VA Hospital

2014/08/14

KSFY News... Read More

Noem Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours in Gettysburg on August 14

2014/08/14

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem today announced that Rick Vallery, a member of her staff in Pierre, will hold Mobile Office Hours in Gettysburg on Thursday, August 14.  Vallery will be available that day between 1:00PM and 1:30PM at the Medicine Rock Cafe (801 E. Hwy. 212, Gettysburg) to meet with residents who need help with a federal agency or have concerns or comments they would like passed along to the Congresswoman.

If area residents are unable to meet during the Mobile Office Hours from 1:00PM to 1:30PM, please contact Rep. Noem’s Aberdeen office at 262-2862 or visit her website at www.noem.house.gov to schedule a separate appointment or get immediate assistance. 

- THURSDAY, AUGUST 14 -

WHAT: Noem Staff Hold Mobile Office Hours in Gettysburg    
WHEN: Thursday, August 14 – 1:00PM to 1:30PM (CT)
WHERE: Medicine Rock Cafe (801 E. Hwy. 212, Gettysburg)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Gettysburg residents may meet with Rick Vallery, a member of her staff in Pierre, to get help with a federal agency or pass on any concerns or comments they have for the Congresswoman.

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Contact Information

1323 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2801
Fax 202-225-5823
noem.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Agriculture

Armed Services

U.S. Representative Kristi Noem is a wife, mother, experienced rancher, farmer, and former small business owner. Kristi was born and raised in rural Hamlin County in northeastern South Dakota and still lives there today with her husband, Bryon, and their three children, Kassidy, Kennedy, and Booker.

Kristi learned the value of hard work early in life from her father. He put Kristi, her sister and two brothers to work on the family farm at a young age caring for the cattle and horses and helping with planting and harvest. After graduating from high school, Kristi began attending college at Northern State University in Aberdeen. When her father died unexpectedly in a farming accident, Kristi returned to the family farm and ranch full-time. Her father’s death left a huge absence, so Kristi stepped up and helped stabilize the operation and provided leadership when it was needed most.

Kristi’s work on the farm and ranch didn’t go unnoticed. In 1997 she received the South Dakota Outstanding Young Farmer award and in 2003 she was honored with the South Dakota Young Leader award.

Kristi’s experience as a small business owner shaped her understanding of government and its purpose. Too often, government is inefficient and ineffective, simply getting in the way of small businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to create jobs and grow our economy. Realizing this, Kristi decided to get involved to try and make a difference.

Her service includes the South Dakota State Farm Agency State Committee, the Commission for Agriculture in the 21st Century, the South Dakota Soybean Association, and numerous other boards and committees. In the fall of 2006, Kristi was elected as the 6th District Representative to the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Kristi quickly realized she could serve her district, and the State of South Dakota, more effectively in a leadership position. So in her second term she ran for, and won, the position of Assistant Majority Leader in the State House, where she served until 2010.

Kristi was first elected to serve as South Dakota’s lone Member of the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2010.

While keeping up with her Congressional duties in Washington, D.C. and work with constituents in South Dakota, Kristi continued to take undergraduate courses from South Dakota State University. In December 2011, Kristi graduated from SDSU with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

On November 6, 2012, Kristi was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where she continues to serve on the Agriculture Committee and House Armed Services Committee.

Kristi enjoys helping her daughters compete in rodeo and 4-H. She has been a 4-H leader for 14 years. Kristi is also an avid hunter. She particularly enjoys pheasant hunting on the homestead and archery elk with her brothers.


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