FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2009
Member-supported site will provide a resource to producers, government officials, journalists and those in the agricultural community
OVERLAND PARK, Kan — National Crop Insurance Services, a trade association for the crop insurance industry, has launched a new website. The URL is: www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com
The website is part of a new effort spearheaded by NCIS to provide information to the public and to decision-makers and key influencers about the benefits and importance of the Federal crop insurance program.
“We have a great story to tell and the website is a terrific way to put a lot of information in one place,” said Robert Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services. “We have found that while producers and those familiar with the agricultural economy understand the value of a strong crop insurance program, average citizens and many elected officials really do not know enough about how crop insurance works or why it is so essential to the farm economy,” Parkerson added.
The site contains information about the history of the crop insurance program and how it works; provides video segments from individuals who have had experiences with the program; shows the growth of the program over time and directs visitors to the 16 private companies that provide coverage across the country. Visitors to the website will be also able to “sign up” to show their support for the crop insurance program, and are given the opportunity to submit questions or comments about the program.
The site also has news stories, press releases, reports, testimony and other documents of interest. There are links to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and to NCIS member companies. The website will be kept up-to-date with current and relevant information about the crop insurance program as it changes.
“In the 1990s, Congress challenged the industry to increase participation in the crop insurance program. Working with the USDA, the industry met that challenge. We now see 80 percent of the farmland in the US covered by the federal crop insurance program,” said Dr. Keith Collins, former chief economist for the USDA and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. “The crop insurance program provides an essential underpinning to the nation’s farm economy,” Collins added. Dr. Collins is currently serving as a consultant to National Crop insurance Services.
Under the Federal crop insurance program’s unique public-private partnership, 16 private companies are currently authorized by RMA to write policies. The private companies are obligated to sell insurance to every eligible farmer who requests it and must retain a portion of the risk on every policy. The Federal crop insurance program covered $90 billion of crops in 2008, insuring more than 100 individual crops on more than 271 million acres.
“We want to make sure that policymakers in Washington understand that our industry is at the center of the farm economy. A strong crop insurance program benefits a much broader community,” said NCIS President Bob Parkerson. “Our new website is a great resource for those who want to learn more and stay informed about the issues that affect crop insurance. Please take a look,” Parkerson added.
The website can be accessed through www.ncis.staging.wpengine.com