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Ag Outlook RMA Crop Insurance Panel Review
USAgNet - 03/07/2017

The USDA Risk Management Agency hosted a special panel of credit services representatives to discuss farm safety net issues at the 93rd annual Agricultural Outlook Forum held in Arlington, Va. The AOF is widely known as USDA's largest annual meeting with approximately 30 sessions open to the more than 1700 people that attended this year's event.

Dozens of Speakers along with a variety of agriculture related exhibits were available to AOF attendees to help facilitate discussion on everything from crop insurance to agriculture policy and agriculture economics amongst producers, processors, government officials and both the domestic and international agriculture community at large.

Michael Alston, associate administrator of USDA's Risk Management Agency and deputy manager of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board, helmed a panel of distinguished guest consisting of panelists with diverse backgrounds throughout the field of crop insurance.

Tom Zacharias, president of National Crop Insurance Services; Mark Jensen, senior vice president and chief risk officer of Farm Credit Services of America; and Dean Benson, senior vice president of insurance services of Northwest Farm Credit Services; all contributed to the day's discussion on the "Farm Safety Net" keeping in mind this year's theme of "A New Horizon: the Future of Agriculture."

Farm Safety Net panelist echoed Alston's sentiments by sharing with the audience how their particular organizations help contribute to America's Farm Safety Net and how those contributions ultimately benefit America's farmers and ranchers.

Zacharias spoke about how crop insurance serves as the linchpin of the farm safety net by providing affordable services for farmers with reliable risk management tools. During Zacharias' presentation, he discussed various aspects of crop insurance from the structure of the crop insurance public-private partnership, to regulatory oversight and cost sharing and affordability.

While the presentation did show how crop insurance risk management programs support producers and rural communities, Zacharias' presentation urged attendees to remember that there are real people behind the numbers presented at the panel.

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