Evan Volf spent a few years in banking after college. He had a good job with Northwest Farm Credit Services managing a growing portfolio in Bozeman. It was 9-5 with weekends off, retirement and health insurance. The money was great for his growing family. But Volf’s heart was at the family ranch and farm 120
National Crop and Insurance Services (NCIS) is on the road this year to speak first-hand with farmers, ranchers and insurance adjusters across the country about the unique challenges they face and the importance of crop insurance. The consensus is clear—crop insurance is one tool that farmers simply cannot do without. In this What’s Cropping Up,
Farming is a unique profession in so many ways. First, it is more like a calling — to be part of God’s gifts here, and a steward of these gifts. To follow a crop from seed to harvest, or to see an animal born and grow to maturity — that’s a lot of the reason
Farm Bill conferees from the House and the Senate got together yesterday for a public meeting, and the 56 legislators in attendance were each given three minutes to discuss their priorities. In the hours of testimony that followed, not a single negative word about crop insurance was uttered. But, there were plenty of accolades. Below
Farmers across the nation spent the dog days of summer praying for more rain, or less rain, harvesting wheat, worrying about failed corn crops and wondering how far commodity prices will drop. And in Washington, lawmakers spent the hot summer hammering out their differences in the Farm Bill – a critical piece of legislation the
As the Farm Bill moves from passage to a conference committee between the House and Senate chambers to reconcile differences, lawmakers have been vocal in their support of crop insurance to our nation’s farmers. Here is just a small sampling of press statements by several U.S. Senators and Congressmen since the vote: “I’m proud to
In their quest to harm farm policy, critics have long contended that crop insurance is so vital to farmers that changes in premium rates will have no impact on participation. Such claims may be convenient for special interests hoping to weaken farmers’ most important risk management tool by making it more expensive, but the claims
More than 600 trade organizations and companies throughout rural America sent U.S. Senators a clear message today about crop insurance as they prepare to debate the 2018 Farm Bill. “As you consider the 2018 Farm Bill on the Senate floor, we urge you to oppose harmful amendments to crop insurance, including those that would 1)
The Senate officially begins its Farm Bill process June 13, as the Agriculture Committee debates a draft bipartisan bill released last week by the panel’s top Republican and Democrat. And thanks to a new website just unveiled by the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), Senators and other interested parties won’t have to look very far
Just before the U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote on a Farm Bill amendment that would’ve crippled crop insurance, a Kansas State University economist sent key policymakers a note alerting them to a new study that shed light on the negative impact of reducing revenue insurance coverage. The study he circulated was not
A pair of soybean farmers in America’s heartland are urging Congress to leave crop insurance alone as it debates the 2018 Farm Bill with columns published recently in newspapers in both states. Scott Metzger, who farms with his family at Metzger Family Farms in Williamsport, Ohio, offered his story of decades of heartbreak that came
According to a survey of more than 20,000 American farmers, 58 percent have experienced income fluctuations of at least 50 percent over the course of two consecutive years. Fewer than 10 percent for all U.S. households experienced the same level of variation. USDA’s Economic Research Service examined farmers’ income volatility from 1997 to 2013 using
As the Farm Bill is being debated in Washington, one thing that I, as president of the Montana Grain Growers, am committed to emphasizing is the importance of crop insurance. Put simply, crop insurance is cornerstone of our nation’s farm policy, with 90 percent of farmland today enrolled in the program. In Montana, that accounts
U.S. taxpayers fare better when the government discounts farmers’ crop insurance premiums rather than relying on unbudgeted disaster aid packages. That’s according to a recent peer-reviewed study that used a novel mathematical model to study an issue that has been difficult to analyze empirically. The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
For more than a year, farmers from across the country have urged the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to maintain a strong crop insurance system in the 2018 Farm Bill. And now, you can hear the farmers’ messages in their own words. The Committee on Tuesday released a video testimony from its nationwide hearings that details the
One day prior to the House Agriculture Committee’s scheduled mark-up of the 2018 Farm Bill, crop insurers and agents sent Committee leaders a letter of support. That letter can be read in its entirety below: April 17, 2018 The Honorable Mike Conaway The Honorable Collin Peterson House Committee on Agriculture 1301 Longworth House Office Building
Before Congress’ spring recess, several Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee participated in a Farm Bill discussion hosted by the Washington Examiner. And one thing became very clear during the conversation: Members are united in keeping crop insurance strong during the upcoming debate. This support is not surprising. Crop insurance is delivered by the
Wheat farmers in the heartland are facing tough times. Prices have bottomed out, Mother Nature has been unrelenting and this year’s wheat harvest was well below average. On our five-generation family farm in Sentinel, the story is no different. Our wheat acres were down just like nearly everybody else who grows the crop. And unfortunately,
As Congress continues preparation for the 2018 Farm Bill, rural America continues to voice its support for maintaining a strong crop insurance system. One of the loudest voices in that chorus belongs to the country’s largest farm organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation. An active member of the crop insurance coalition, Farm Bureau is working
Mar’Kayla Bethea had to balance work with studies when she was an undergraduate student at Alabama A&M University. Working at night and going to class during the day wasn’t easy. But she had no choice because she was paying for her education on her own. That changed when National Crop Insurance Services awarded her with
National Crop Insurance Services today released the third installment in the “Risk Management Minute” series. This final video is focused on the importance of maintaining a strong public-private partnership. “Now, assistance arrives in weeks, not years, because the private sector is involved,” explained the video, which noted that there are 20,000 agents, adjusters and staff
As the Farm Bill debate heats up, some farm policy opponents are lobbying to exclude people from crop insurance, which would harm farmers and taxpayers alike. That’s according to a new video released today by National Crop Insurance Services – the second video in its “Risk Management Minute” series. Legislative proposals to apply an income
The House Agriculture Committee is diligently working on a new Farm Bill, which Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) hopes will receive a vote in the House of Representatives before the end of March. Conaway, who addressed the crop insurance industry’s annual convention yesterday, said that would leave plenty of time to work out differences with
Kenneth Ackerman, a former Administrator of the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, recently published an article entitled Top Priority for the 2018 Farm Bill: Protect Federal Crop Insurance. We thought the piece summed up the current political debate surrounding crop insurance well, and wanted to share it more broadly. Ackerman, who currently works at OFW Law,
It’s been more than 25 years since a sitting U.S. President addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation. But President Donald Trump made up for lost time with a rousing speech yesterday to the Farm Bureau convention in Nashville. From tax and trade to immigration and infrastructure improvements, he touched on a myriad of important issues
We all carry insurance on something: Our homes, our cars, maybe even a special vacation or a treasured antique. And, we all get bills in the mail to pay premiums on those insurance policies. When disaster strikes, and we have to use the policies we’ve paid for, we must first absorb part of the loss
“Don’t mess with crop insurance.” The phrase has become a battle cry among farmers in the Midwest, especially as legislators headed out for listening sessions and town halls ahead of the next farm bill. And so far, legislators are hearing the message. That’s the opening of a recent Farm Futures article about crop insurance. The
As your family sits down to a Thanksgiving meal this week, take a look around at all the wonderful food and consider where it came from. The sweet potatoes, peas, corn, rice and the wheat in the bread. The cranberries in the sauce and the sugar and pumpkin in the pie. The onions and tomatoes
Farm families across America are struggling. Crop prices are down. Farm incomes have fallen drastically in the past several years and weather disasters have hit farms in most parts of the country. And the pain is trickling down to small businesses and communities throughout rural America. Yet, some lawmakers are pushing proposals that will make
The Farm Bill debate is heating up in Washington and that has me thinking back to 2015. We received way too much rainfall in central Missouri that spring and my family’s farm in Boone County, like many across the state, suffered big losses. We were only able to plant 40 out of our normal 500
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), is urging farmers to make their voices heard as the next Farm Bill is being considered. “Constantly communicate with (legislators) week in and week out,” he said during a recent visit to Indiana, where he met with members of the media. “And then when these
Opponents of agriculture recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to strategize for ways to dismantle farm policies in the upcoming Farm Bill. Crop insurance was among their targets – specifically making insurance protection less affordable and available to farmers, and less economically viable for the private sector to deliver. Many agriculture groups, including the National Association
“Such a policy would likely impact farms that had high levels of off-farm income from a spouse and or other business activities,” according to Barnaby and Taylor. Furthermore, because most farmers’ incomes are tied to crop prices, some growers could be ineligible in some years and eligible in others, creating a compliance nightmare for the USDA and farmers alike.
As Farm Bill discussions continue, so do the misguided attacks on America’s farm policy. But the ag community is making its voice heard, taking to newspaper opinion pages across the country to stress the indispensable role crop insurance plays in helping American farmers provide affordable food for America and the world. Dorian Culver, a soybean
Agriculture’s opponents use terms like “guaranteed profits” to disparage the crop insurers that protect America’s food and fiber supply, help farmers pick up the pieces after disasters, and shield taxpayers from footing the whole bill through unbudgeted ad hoc disaster packages. These criticisms unfairly confuse basic business concepts like gross returns and net income. The
In the wake of weather disasters in 1983, 1984 and 1988, U.S. agriculture was struggling, and an unparalleled farm debt crisis was only compounding the problem. Back then, the federal government responded differently to agricultural crises. There was no overall strategy to deal with recurring farming disasters, and responses were generally reactive and after-the-fact. So,
By: Luke Sandrock Published in the Herald & Review August 25, 2017 Even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong. No one knows this more than a farmer. They can plan out the entire year for how they will harvest a crop, but a single storm or a drop in the market can change everything. It
Luckily, most lawmakers recognize crop insurance’s value and are dedicated to keeping it affordable and widely available.
The importance of crop insurance and other risk management tools to our nation’s farmers is the main message of the first segment in a new Agri-Pulse Farm Bill video series. “We all rely on farmers and ranchers, but farming is riskier than other businesses out there,” the video begins. “Crop insurance helps farmers manage their
The House Agriculture Committee has been crisscrossing the country this summer to visit with farmers and ranchers about their priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill. These listening sessions have been extensive, and Committee members have touted their usefulness. Following the most recent forum in California this week, Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) addressed the sugar industry’s
By: Rex Williamson Published in The Columbus Dispatch July 26, 2017 My family has been in agriculture in northwest Ohio for generations. My great-grandfather, grandfather, and dad farmed. I followed in their footsteps. It was a great blessing. We were taught to love and appreciate hard work, and we learned to work as a family.
Crop insurance industry leaders testified this week before the U.S. Senate, touting the benefits of the program to our nation’s farmers and ranchers. But they were far from the only ones promoting crop insurance in what was the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s largest Farm Bill hearing to date. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS),
Crop insurance industry leaders testified today before U.S. Senators, stressing the vital role crop insurance plays in providing risk management to farmers across the country. Their testimony was part of the Senate on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry hearing, “Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Favorable growing conditions and record yields for corn and soybean marked 2016 along with fewer losses, according to a report in the latest edition of Crop Insurance Today magazine. Only seven states – all of which are in the Northeast – had loss ratios greater than 1.0, noted “2016: The Year in Review” authors Mechel
Means testing measures like adjusted gross income (AGI) limits would have unintended consequences for all farmers, warns Rodney Weinzierl.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recognized crop insurance as an important part of the farm safety net and said the program is critical to the country’s food security during recent Senate testimony about the proposed United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget.
In the days surrounding the release of a proposed White House budget that includes cuts to crop insurance, farm leaders are taking to newspaper opinion pages across the country to defend the successful program.
The American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and National Crop Insurance Services released the following joint statement in response to the White House’s proposed FY2018 budget.
Participants at the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry’s second Farm Bill field hearing stressed that with tough times hitting farm country in the form of catastrophic weather events and falling prices, farmers need a strong farm safety net more than ever. The field hearing was held at Michigan State University, Ranking Member
Tax season is finally over, and naturally many of us are thinking about how our checks to Uncle Sam will be spent in the upcoming year. Here’s a hint: Not very much will be going to the farm. In fact, for every $100 spent by the Federal government, less than 25 cents actually goes to