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Conference Name Crop Insurance Programs for Specialty Crop Producers in New York

Steve Richards


In 2002, specialty crop producers in New York were surveyed in order to understand the major risks that these producers faced and the strategies that they were using to mitigate their perceived risks. We addressed these concerns in 2003 and 2004 by collaborating with several partners (NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Farm Credit, NY Farm Bureau, the Farm Service Agency, Farmers Market Federation of NY, and RMA) to conduct workshops for specialty crop producers. Working through Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations and Area Programs, 40 workshops were presented to almost 400 participants. The participants of these workshops learned about crop insurance products (with an emphasis on AGR and AGR-Lite) and other risk management strategies particular their operations. We also captured new audiences through our collaboration with the Northeast Organic Foods Association of New York; conducting listening sessions with organic farmers to discover their risk management needs. These sessions provided an opportunity to introduce organic farmers to crop insurance products that could provide whole farm protection. For most of these participants, it was their first exposure to crop insurance.

As a result, more farm families have taken appropriate actions to secure their survival through reducing risk and income variability on their farm operations. AGR and AGR-Lite insurance policies in New York have continued to grow since this effort began.