OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Members of the House Agriculture Committee gathered July 20 to hear from farmers, crop insurance agents, and industry representatives about the key role that crop insurance plays in the farm safety net. Crop insurance is built on a unique public-private partnership between the federal government and the private sector, making the program efficient, affordable and adaptable to farmers’ needs.
Each witness spoke to the strengths of crop insurance, and how it works to protect farmers and ranchers:
- “Uncertainty and volatility are probably two words that describe the countryside right now… Crop insurance is one thing that can give us some stability, some predictability. That’s why it’s really important now, more than ever.” – Lee Cromley, 6th generation farmer, National Cotton Council and American Cotton Producers
- “Federal crop insurance is a major pillar of risk management for the vast majority of corn growers.” – Tom Haag, 4th generation farmer, First Vice President of the National Corn Growers Association
- “Crop insurance is one of the best tools available to farmers to protect against Mother Nature because crop insurance is a rapid response solution to disasters.” – Bob Haney, Executive Chairman of Agri-Sompo North America
- “Crop insurance does more than just cover losses, it enables the producer to secure credit, to better market their crops, and to make the needed investments to improve their farm and ranch and build their soils.” – Kathy Fowler, independent crop insurance agent, Crop Insurance Professionals Association
- “Crop insurance today is a critical part of the agricultural safety net. It’s relied on by farmers, by lenders, and by rural businesses in every part of the country. No USDA program reaches more farmers, and more crops, and more counties than crop insurance.” – Alex Offerdahl, Watts and Associates, Inc.
With a Farm Bill on the horizon, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle also praised the crop insurance program:
- “Throughout the last two Farm Bill reauthorization processes, the message I heard loud and clearly was ‘do no harm’ to crop insurance. The program has been, and continues to be, central to risk management for producers across the country and it has continued to grow and evolve to address the challenges and risk our producers are feeling.” – Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.)
- “I’ve heard firsthand from numerous farmers how crop insurance saved them from bankruptcy following a disaster. But its purpose goes well beyond helping producers in the wake of a loss, crop insurance provides a base level of reliable risk management that [helps keep] the economic engine of rural America running in good years, and quite frankly, in bad.” – Rep. GT Thompson (R-Pa.)
- “By leveraging the private sector and incentivizing competition among companies, producers now have access to a dynamic system that provides our producers with the highest level of service.” – Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)
- “Federal crop insurance is an incredibly successful public-private partnership that stands as the primary safety net for U.S. producers.” – Rep. Al Lawson (D-Fla.)
- “It’s a successful public-private partnership that I would argue to my last breath to anyone is good for producers, it’s good for rural communities, it’s also good for consumers to have a constant food supply all over this country.” – Rep. Tracey Mann (R-Kan.)
From Congress to the countryside, the message is clear: crop insurance works.
— National Crop Insurance Services