Thursday, at the request of Congressman Tim Holden, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s (PDA) Deputy Secretary for Administration, Russell Redding testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management in Washington, D.C. on the importance of specialty crop insurance.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Department to advocate for change in federal crop insurance programs to reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania agriculture,” Redding said. “With more growers producing crops for local and metropolitan markets, specialty crop insurance is rising in importance – yet most remain uninsurable.”
In the Agriculture Risk Protection Act (ARPA) of 2000, Pennsylvania was listed as one of 15 states considered underserved by crop insurance. Since then, through federal cost share programs and the development of the AGR-Lite program, PDA has reportedly made great strides in improving the crop insurance options available to Pennsylvania farmers.
As a result of PDA’s efforts, Pennsylvania was one of four states asked to testify before Congress.
“Promoting improved farm-level risk management has shown to be good public policy for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and has added financial strength on thousands of Pennsylvania farms. With repeated disasters within the last several years, crop insurance has been the cornerstone for the survival of Pennsylvania farms,” Redding added.
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