Congress recently heard loud and clear from America’s farmers that they must do no harm to crop insurance as they consider programs to support rural America.
Farmers representing a diverse range of commodities testified last week before a House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing called by Subcommittee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) to share their experience with the farm safety net.
“We’ve heard time and again how critical crop insurance is as a risk management tool for farmers,” Chairwoman Bustos said in her opening remarks.
Growers spoke to the effectiveness of the crop insurance program and its irreplaceable role in the farm safety net. Each of the farmers had been personally affected by either weather disasters, market volatility, or the pandemic. Sometimes even all three.
No matter the challenge, crop insurance was there to help them manage their risks and keep growing another season.
Their messages of support for crop insurance were quickly echoed by several of the members of Congress in attendance, including Congressman GT Thompson (R-Pa.), Ranking Member of the full committee:
“Rather than wait for an act of Congress, farmers need reliable assistance that only a standing program can provide and there is no better example of a program that responds quickly when needed than crop insurance. Above all else, we must first do no harm to the existing safety net.”
Several farmers underscored Congressman Thompson’s message on the timeliness of crop insurance assistance. The crop insurance program utilizes a unique public-private partnership to deliver indemnity checks in just days or weeks – not months, or even years, as can be the case when relying on ad hoc disaster assistance.
Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-Minn.) noted that the testimony before the subcommittee and conversations with her constituents had made it clear that “risk management tools like crop insurance are more important than ever. Federal crop insurance has been a success story because it’s actuarially sound and consistently works for farmers.”
Crop insurance is popular and trusted by farmers because it is affordable, widely available, and economically viable. It gives farmers the tools they need to tackle the challenges of today – and tomorrow.