Risk Management Agency Acting Administrator Brandon Willis says the crop insurance industry needs to do a more aggressive job of convincing the American public that crop insurance is a wise public investment.
Willis says the program is more important - but a target - even though the public should appreciate crop insurance since it ensures most of the food Americans consume continues to be produced domestically and the food export industry prospers. He says the lack of calls for disaster assistance speaks volumes to the effectiveness of the crop insurance program - of which the government pays about 62-percent and farmers pay the rest.
Willis suggests a strong crop insurance program will encourage more young people to go into farming. The U.S. needs the best and brightest to be engaged in ag and providing food - Willis says - if having a food supply is in the nation’s interest. Without crop insurance - he says the best and the brightest will not go back to the farm - due to the high risk and intensive capital involved in farming.
Willis says he will try to protect the program by keeping fraud and abuse as low as possible through efficient management - but he encourages the industry to promote the program with the general public.