WASHINGTON — Rickey L. Bearden of Plains, Texas was officially sworn in as a member of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors (Board) at a ceremony held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency held August 10, 2018. Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Bearden will be serving a four-year term of office along with fellow board member Michael Clemens who was sworn in May 22, 2018.
As a member of the FCIC Board, Bearden will be tasked with ensuring that the board continues its’ mission to direct the federal crop insurance program, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). The FCIC Board analyzes and evaluates crop insurance products based upon how the products are expected provide the greatest benefit to farmers and ranchers. The purpose of crop insurance is to provide protection against a loss in production due to natural perils such as adverse weather conditions, insects or plant disease, or wildlife.
“I feel that Rickey Bearden will be an invaluable member of the FCIC Board as he shares his vast experience in the world of agriculture and farming, to help secure the future of farmers and ranchers in America,” said Martin Barbre, FCIC manager and Administrator for RMA.
The Federal Crop Insurance Act requires that non-USDA Board members represent core groups involved in managing farm risk. This includes four producers, at least one of whom is a specialty crop producer; one individual involved in insurance (often an agent); and one individual knowledgeable about reinsurance or regulation. The act also requires that the four producer Board members come from diverse geographic areas and represent a cross-section of agricultural commodities. As a member of the FCIC board, Bearden’s Texas roots continues to add to the diverse backgrounds and experiences accumulated through the board’s members.
Bearden comes from a family of farmers with land in Yoakum, Texas that sprawls 9500 acres of wheat and cotton among other crops. Bearden intends on using his experience more than 40 years as a farmer and member of organizations such as the Southwest Council of Agribusiness and Plains Cotton Growers, to provide impactful service and leadership to the crop insurance program. “We farm in what would be called a volatile weather area of the United States, so crop insurance is very important to us. I’ve used crop insurance and I’ve also had the chance to work on issues through the years that relate to other parts of the
country and try to come up with answers for those issues that we have as producers in the United States,” said Bearden. “It’s a great opportunity to serve the agricultural industry in the United States and to hopefully strengthen the safety net that farmers have with crop insurance,” said Bearden.
FCIC Board member biographies can be found on the RMA website.
Federal crop insurance is key to the farm safety net. It provides farm producers and owners various methods to mitigate production and revenue risks and helps to maintain a durable rural economy. For more information, visit: https://www.rma.usda.gov.
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