Risk Management for Beginning Farmers

Jake Jacobs, University of Vermont RMA Risk Management Education

USDA has established certain crop insurance benefits designed to help beginning farmers and ranchers start their operations. These benefits include:

  • Exemption from paying the administrative fee for catastrophic and additional coverage policies;
  • Additional 10 percentage points of premium subsidy for additional coverage policies that have premium subsidy;
  • Use of the production history of farming operations that you were previously involved in the decision-making or physical activities; and
  • An increase in the substitute Yield Adjustment, which allows you to replace a low yield due to an insured cause of loss, from 60 to 80 percent of the applicable transitional yield (T-Yield).

How to Apply for Benefits

You must apply for Beginning Farmer and Rancher benefits by your Fed­eral crop insurance policy’s sales closing date. You are required to identify any previous farming or ranching experience and any exclusionary time periods you were under the age of 18, in post-secondary education, or ac­tive duty military. Talk to your crop insurance agent for more information.  To find an agent licensed by USDA to sell crop insurance in Vermont, you can get a list at your local FSA office or go to the RMA agent locator on their web site at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html.

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About UVM New Farmer Project

The UVM Extension New Farmer Project draws together information and resources within Extension and the broader Vermont Agriculture community to assist new farmers in creating successful ag businesses.
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