Subcommittee Reviews Federal Crop Insurance Program

Jun 7, 2007

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to review the integrity and efficacy of the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Congressman Bob Etheridge from North Carolina is Chairman.   

“Crop Insurance and other risk management practices are vital to American agricultural production,” said Chairman Etheridge.  “Hearings such as this one help us to learn how to improve the program’s integrity and make the best use of taxpayer dollars as we write the 2007 Farm Bill.

The federal crop insurance program is a public-private partnership that provides producers with essential tools to manage the risks they face.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) administers the program, which is delivered by the sixteen private-sector insurance companies that sell and service the crop insurance policies.

 "Crop insurance is an essential component of the safety net utilized by United States farmers and it must continue to serve this purpose.  The crop insurance program is unique from other forms of insurance in that it utilizes taxpayer dollars. For this reason, it is the Agriculture Committee’s responsibility to see that these dollars are being utilized in an appropriate manner,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Moran of Kansas.

This is the third Subcommittee hearing to review crop insurance issues in preparation for the Farm Bill.  The Subcommittee will consider its provisions of H.R. 2419, the 2007 Farm Bill, on June 19, 2007.

The opening statements of all the witnesses are available on the Committee website. A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.

Witness List:

Panel I

Mr. Ron Brichler, President, Crop Insurance Division, Great American Insurance Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

Dr. G.A. (Art) Barnaby, Jr., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Manhattan, Kansas

Mr. David C. Herring, Jr., Branch Manager, East Carolina Farm Credit, Kinston, North Carolina

Mr. Mike Mock, Senior Risk Manager, The Andersons, Inc., Maumee, Ohio

Dr. Bert Little, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Research, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, Executive Director, Center for Agribusiness Excellence, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas

Mr. Nick Ferens, Manager, U.S. Civil Market, DeticaDFI, Washington, D.C.

Panel II

Administrator Eldon Gould, Risk Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Accompanied by:

Dr. Keith Collins, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

 Ms. Kathleen S. Tighe, Deputy Inspector General, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Robert A. Robinson, Managing Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C.