Nebraska farmer defends crop insurance at Senate hearing

steffen-ben 2-13The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday on federal programs that help farmers survive financially when faced with natural disasters such as drought, fire and freeze.

One of those testifying was Humboldt, Nebraska farmer Ben Steffen.  He tells Brownfield that maintaining a strong crop insurance program should be Congress’ top priority.  He calls it “a valuable investment with a high return”.

“We put our investment in that program right alongside the investment that taxpayers of this nation have invested,” Steffen said, “and it’s an investment in food security for our nation—in a plentiful food supply, an inexpensive food supply, and the highest quality food supply anywhere in the world.”

Steffen says crop insurance, in his words, “is not a fountain of free money”.  He says that in the 11 years prior to 2012, his operation paid in more money in premiums than it received in indemnity payments.

AUDIO: Ben Steffen (8:19 MP3)

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