FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Release: NSAC Celebrates Introduction of Whole Farm Revenue Protection Improvement Act
Washington, DC, July 27, 2023 – Today, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) Program Improvement Act alongside Senators Booker (D-NJ), Fetterman (D-PA), Smith (D-MN), and Welch (D-VT). If incorporated into the 2023 Farm Bill, this bill will expand insurance access to producers historically left out of the federal crop insurance program.
“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) often hears from small, beginning, specialty crop and diversified farmers that want a safety net in the face of worsening storms and droughts; it just does not feel like an option to them,” said Billy Hackett, NSAC Policy Specialist in response to the bill’s introduction. “Strong bipartisan interest exists to expand voluntary access to crop insurance to include these underserved producers. This Act is the moving vehicle to do that.”
NSAC and its member organizations were key advocates behind the authorization of WFRP in the 2014 Farm Bill, championed by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), present-day chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Unfortunately, due to heightened paperwork burdens and reluctance from farmers and agents to buy or market the program, WFRP enrollment peaked in 2017.
“We know what barriers lead to falling WFRP enrollment from years of collecting data, testimony, and feedback from farmers and insurance agents on-the-ground. This Act will finally allow WFRP to reach its full promise and potential to deliver affordable and streamlined insurance coverage to all farmers who want it,” continued Hackett.
The WFRP Improvement Act includes provisions to address common barriers and to otherwise strengthen the program by streamlining paperwork, expanding the Micro Farm pilot, raising the limit to annual revenue expansion, strengthening the diversification discount, and compensating crop insurance agents who sell WFRP appropriately.
“The Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA) appreciates the much needed attention to improving both the quality and accessibility of crop insurance for diversified farmers through the WFRP,” says Amalie Lipstreu, OEFFA Policy Director. “Our farmers have often experimented with WFRP only to find that it didn’t meet their needs and there is a whole segment of farmers who just don’t think crop insurance is even an option for them. This bill will go a long way to improving access and supporting farmers who take care of their land through diversification, use of cover crops and crop rotations.”
The bill text can be found here.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net