For farmers, a lifetime’s work and every penny they have can be wiped out by a single hail storm, a drought or a market crash that erases any chance of profit regardless of how well crops do. That is why the vast majority of Kansas farmers purchase crop insurance every year and why it must remain available, affordable and viable.

With the cost of farming so high, most farmers must show proof of crop insurance to secure production loans from banks. This allows banks to make production loans to folks who might otherwise be judged too risky.

One of those groups is young farmers. They are the key to the future of American agriculture. For them, if they haven’t purchased crop insurance, one bad year and they are done.

Some think crop insurance is a freebie. It’s not. Farmers have skin in the game when they pay their premiums, which is not pocket change.

In fact, the farmers I know spend $35,000 to $40,000 every year to purchase their policies. And in many years, they don’t collect a dime.

Crop insurance helps ensure a legacy of abundance in America.

Steve Baccus

Immediate past president, Kansas Farm Bureau

Minneapolis, Kan.

This letter to the editor appeared in the Kansas City Star on December 20, 2014.