WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, founded the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus. Joining her to lead the bipartisan caucus is Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15). The caucus will work with stakeholders to organize quarterly educational briefings to help Members of Congress and staff better understand the program, remain aware of current crop insurance issues and build bipartisan support for the farm safety net in Congress.
“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 Bustos said. “Crop insurance should never be a partisan issue, and I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman Thompson to build support in Congress for our farm safety net. As a member of the Agriculture Committee since I was elected to Congress, I’ll continue to be a tireless fighter for Illinois farm families.”
“Many unforeseeable factors impact yields, price and finances of agricultural producers, and that uncertainty makes the industry susceptible to risk,” Congressman Thompson said. “For the long-term success of American agriculture and our national food supply, it is critical that farmers and ranchers have access to voluntary tools to help manage that risk. I’m proud to serve as co-chair of the House Crop Insurance Caucus in order to support our farm families, economy and national food security.”
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Bustos has been a champion for Illinois farmers. She helped write and pass a bipartisan Farm Bill and served on the House-Senate Conference Committee to get the bill to the president’s desk and signed into law. Congresswoman Bustos has also been a fierce defender of crop insurance – standing up to President Trump’s budget, which proposed billions in cuts to the program. In 2015, she helped save the crop insurance program from elimination after it was removed from a budget deal.
SUPPORT FOR THE CROP INSURANCE CAUCUS
“Crop insurance is a critical component of the farm safety net for Illinois soybean grower,” said Ron Moore, Illinois soybean farmer and Board Member of the American Soybean Association. “Protecting and preserving the program is paramount, especially in years like this when Mother Nature has not been kind. We greatly appreciate the leadership of Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Thompson to create the Crop Insurance Caucus to protect this critical tool for farmers.”
“This year our agency witnessed firsthand the level of uncertainty and devastation that can come with extreme weather,” said Greg and Luke Sandrock of the Cornerstone Agency in Tampico, Illinois. “Farmers are the backbone of our community and a strong crop insurance program allows them the certainty and security they need to recover and maintain their operations. We applaud Rep. Bustos and Rep. Thompson for their efforts to educate Congress on the importance of crop insurance and the critical role it plays in communities like ours here in Illinois.”
“NCGA’s farmer members have consistently cited the federal crop insurance program as their most important risk management tool to protect against significant production losses,” said Jon Doggett, CEO of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). “In challenging times, like many farmers are currently facing, the program becomes even more critical. NCGA welcomes the formation of the House Crop Insurance Caucus and commends Reps. Bustos and Thompson for their support of this important program,”
“Farm Credit, a dedicated provider of credit to agriculture and rural communities, supports a range of risk-management tools for producers,” said Todd Van Hoose, CEO of Farm Credit Council. “A viable federal crop insurance program allows lenders to finance many of those agriculture producers, particularly young and beginning farmers and ranchers who typically have less collateral and equity. We trust that the bipartisan Crop Insurance Caucus will inspire more support for this successful public-private partnership on Capitol Hill.”
“We are grateful for the leadership of Rep. Bustos (D-IL), Rep. Thompson (R-PA) and the House Agriculture Committee in renewing the federal crop insurance program and instituting the Crop Insurance Caucus,” said Brian Young, President of Crop Risk Services in Decatur, Illinois. “Farmers and ranchers today face a myriad of uncertainties. By protecting their most important risk management tool and forming the Caucus, Congress demonstrated they stand with our rural communities in every state.”
“With the re-linkage of crop insurance and conservation compliance, crop insurance not only provides meaningful risk management tools to farmers and ranchers, but also provides an incentive to protect our nation’s wetlands that our waterfowl and hunters depend on,” said Kellis Moss, Director of Public Policy at Ducks Unlimited. “Ducks Unlimited appreciates Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Thompson for creating the Crop Insurance Caucus and we look forward to promoting policies that help producers and wildlife habitat alike.”
“The announcement of the House Crop Insurance Caucus comes at a critical moment for rural America. Farmers are trying to recover from a one-two punch of weather disasters and a struggling rural economy. Never has crop insurance been more crucial to the survival of America’s farmers and ranchers. We commend Representatives Bustos and Thompson for their leadership in launching the House Crop Insurance Caucus and providing a forum for all members to learn more about the value of crop insurance while encouraging bipartisan collaboration to protect this important risk management tool. We look forward to working with the Caucus to strengthen crop insurance and ensure it remains affordable, widely available, and economically viable.” – American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and National Crop Insurance Services