How could risk management options improve for farmers selling to local markets?

The 2018 farm bill required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to solicit feedback from farmers about how crop insurance could better serve non-traditional folks. 

There are still a few listening sessions you could call into—check out the full schedule here. USDA has contracted with the firm Agralytica to conduct these listening sessions, and they are collecting your feedback. 

However, if you aren’t able to join one of the listening sessions, we still encourage you to share your thoughts with Andre Williamson, host of the listening sessions for Agralytica. You can share a short note via email, or call Agralytica directly:

Email: awilliamson@agralytica.com. Put “Local foods insurance” in the subject line.
Call: 240.432.0308

When emailing or calling, be sure to introduce yourself and share some basic information about your operation, such as where you are and what you raise.

Here are some questions you could respond to when you call or email. Feel free to only answer one or two if that’s all you have time for.

  • Have you ever considered crop insurance for your operation? If not, was it because there was no crop insurance available for you, because you could not find an agent to work with, or another reason?
     
  • How do you currently handle risk on your operation?
     
  • What would you most like to insure on your operation, if you could? Trees, livestock, vegetables, or something else?
     
  • How much would you pay for a crop insurance policy? If you’re not comfortable sharing a particular dollar value, consider sharing it in comparison to some portion of your sales, such as 10 percent of one market day at farmers market.
     
  • Do you already carry insurance on your infrastructure? If so, how could crop insurance complement that existing coverage?
     
  • What losses have you endured where crop insurance would have helped?

The Center for Rural Affairs is also submitting our feedback, which you can read here. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. You can reach us at andreah@cfra.org or 402.687.2100 ext 1036.