Last Thursday, AACI and its coalition counterparts assisted in the kick-off of the first briefing for the newly launched Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus. Co-chairs Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) were in attendance and made opening remarks on the importance of crop insurance in their districts, particularly for this last growing season. Attendees for the briefing included congressional staff, members of the Farm Credit system, commodity group representatives, and other industry stakeholders.

“Farmers across the country are facing a tough economy, a reckless trade war and unpredictable weather conditions – they need to know Congress has their backs,”

                 – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

“This is about being proactive and educating our colleagues about the importance of this program. The future starts today.”

                 – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson

Following the Member’s comments, Stephen Frerichs with Rain and Hail gave a general overview of the federal crop insurance program and explained how it assists producers across the U.S. who come from a wide variety of farming operations. Other speakers included Ron Moore, an Illinois soybean farmer and board member for the American Soybean Association (ASA), and Heather Greenwalt, Assistant Vice President of Crop Insurance for Farm Credit Illinois. Moore has been farming the same land his family has since 1913 and spoke to his personal experience with the crop insurance industry. Greenwalt is a crop insurance agent and farmer in Illinois and recalled her variety of experiences tailoring policies to farmers.  Going forward, this caucus will serve as an informal group of Members that work with stakeholders to organize quarterly briefings to help Members of Congress and their staff better understand the crop insurance program and keep them aware of current issues.

In addition to the announcement of the caucus, last week the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) announced the launch of their new ‘Crop Insurance 101’ video and webpage.  Below you can find links to both the website and video itself.  In addition, we have also provided links to press releases from Congresswoman Bustos and NCIS regarding the events that took place last week.

Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) addresses the group
Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) addresses the group