From droughts and derechos to record inflation and rising interest rates, crop insurance is a vital safety net for Iowa farmers and producers. When mother nature strikes, crop and livestock protections can be the difference between turning a profit or facing financial ruin. Born and raised in rural Iowa, I know that, when our producers are successful, our families, main streets, and rural economy are successful – and crop and livestock insurance is an important tool to help Iowa farmers remain successful, productive, and profitable during times of crisis.
In my conversations with producers on my Feenstra Agriculture Tour and my discussions with my 60-member Agriculture Advisory Board, I have repeatedly heard that a robust crop insurance program is the top priority for our agriculture community in this year’s Farm Bill. These same producers are extremely concerned – as am I – that our young, beginning, and veteran farmers face major hurdles to succeed in today’s bleak economy. As land prices increase and inflation persists, it is exceedingly difficult for the next generation of producers to enter the farming community and make a good living.
Additionally, the data tells us that a significant amount of farmland will be changing hands over the next several years. According to recent estimates, 34 percent of all U.S. producers are over the age of 65, while only 8 percent are younger than the age of 35, which means that approximately 40 percent of farmland is expected to transfer ownership over the next two decades. With China redoubling their efforts to buy up American farmland, it is crucial that we help our new and young producers succeed in the agriculture industry, equip them with the capital and crop insurance protections they need to thrive, and keep farmland in the hands of Iowans.
That’s why – serving on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee – I introduced my Crop Insurance for Future Farmers Act. This commonsense legislation extends vital crop and livestock insurance protections to new, beginning, and veteran farmers to lower their insurance payments for their first ten years in business. Current law only covers young and beginning producers’ first five years in business. My bill will give them the breathing room and financial flexibility to plant their roots and carry on our proud agricultural traditions in Iowa during their most vulnerable years.
As an unwavering advocate for Iowa agriculture, I will always be a strong voice for our farmers and their families who put food on our tables and power our economy. I am confident that this investment in the next generation of producers will pay dividends for our economic vitality, grow our rural communities, and keep Iowa farmland where it rightfully belongs – in the hands of Iowa farmers.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.