Tennessee Farmers Depend on Crop Insurance to Support Their Communities

National Crop Insurance Services recently headed east to capture the stories of America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers who depend on the Federal crop insurance program. In Tennessee, one theme became clear: Farmers support the economic health of their communities, and crop insurance helps make this possible.

“If it weren’t for agriculture, [people in my community] wouldn’t have food to eat, clothes to wear, or any of their other daily things that they enjoy every day,” said farmer Zac Morgan, a fourth-generation farmer in Northwest Tennessee who grows corn, soybeans, and wheat.

But what happens if disaster strikes Zac’s farm, leaving him with no crops, financial uncertainty, and a community in need? Thankfully, we don’t have to find out because he and other farmers in his area can mitigate their risk and plan for the unexpected with risk management tools like crop insurance.

“I buy crop insurance because I want to continue my job. I want to continue doing what I love. And without it, if we had a bad crop, then I probably wouldn’t be able to do it all again,” said Zac.

This sentiment is shared by Robbie Baker, a farmer in Obion County who has faced record drought and floods in the last two years. “Crop insurance as a safety net is vital to keep farmers, especially young farmers such as myself, in business,” he said. “It means the difference of going home with a little profit after such an event as a flood or losing all of your inputs.”

Brannon Day, a farmer in Brownsville, Tennessee has also faced recent tumultuous weather events, including a bad drought and early freeze, which can be stressful in a region that greatly depends on agriculture. “The main reason I buy crop insurance is mostly because of our weather. We never know if it’s a drought or if it’s going to rain too much,” said Brannon.

Stanton, Tennessee, home of farmer Marvin Sanderlin, is another area heavily reliant on agriculture and crop insurance. “I would say that it’s very important to have crop insurance because so many people’s livelihood depend on our livelihood,” said Marvin. “Crop insurance is very important to me because I’ve been through rain, hail, fire, and a marketing disaster, and this crop insurance package that we get, it covers all of those factors,” he added.

Moral of the story? We need farmers, and farmers need crop insurance. In the words of Kentucky farmer Jamie Wade: “Crop insurance is imperative to our farming operation. It’s as imperative as a tractor is.”

Check out more quotes from real farmers, ranchers, and agents by visiting our From the Field: Real Stories page.