National Crop Insurance Services recently visited the Grove City, Pennsylvania, farm of John Ligo to discuss how the farm safety net has helped protect his farm against risk. A farmer by choice, Ligo worked in the financial industry before he and his wife purchased their farm in 1988. Now, they produce farm-to-table beef, raising approximately 600 cattle and growing about 400 acres of corn alongside 600 acres of grass and rangeland.
Ligo recently published an op-ed in the Pennsylvania publication Lancaster Farming praising the Federal crop insurance program, an excerpt of which is below:
I’m a farmer because it gives me a chance to shape the land. I can shape my business and my reputation and build my ethic to that picture in my mind of how things should be.
I don’t know what else I could do besides farming to create that. It’s not always easy, and it’s full of risks, but I love it.
The risk in farming is part of the landscape. It comes with the job.
Some risks are controllable, and some are not. We always have risks of health, for the farmer and the livestock. We have risks in weather, which can somewhat be mitigated by our practices, and sometimes not.
One of those things we can do to manage crop production risks is crop insurance. Crop insurance allows me to expect at least a bottom-line income.
Last year we had 40 inches of rain here. By June 10, I was short a hundred acres of what I intended to plant. Crop insurance helped me with that.
There have been years when the sunshine just didn’t bring it to us, and crop yields were low. Crop insurance helped me then, too.
There are years, occasionally, when we have a drought and grass production is just not what it should be, and feed is hard to buy. A pasture rangeland forage policy through crop insurance helped me during the droughts and I was able to continue doing what I am doing.
I know my risks are at least covered to a certain extent with crop insurance.
Ligo concluded his op-ed by thanking Congress for expanding crop insurance in the 2018 Farm Bill and calling on lawmakers to ensure crop insurance remains affordable and widely available in future policy debates. Because without crop insurance, farmers like John Ligo would be unable to provide America with the safe, affordable and high-quality products that feed our nation.