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Secretary Perdue Appoints Two Producers to FCIC Board of Directors


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed Michael Clemens of Wimbledon, North Dakota and Rickey L. Bearden of Plains, Texas to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors (Board). Each will serve a four-year term of office.

The FCIC Board oversees the federal crop insurance program, managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA). The Board reviews crop insurance products presented by outside parties and RMA, and determines which programs will best help farmers and ranchers. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to natural perils such as adverse weather conditions, insects or plant disease, or wildlife.

“The FCIC Board plays an important role in ensuring farmers and ranchers have access to crop insurance products that meet their needs,” said Martin Barbre, FCIC manager and Administrator for RMA. “I appreciate the FCIC Board’s advice and expertise regarding risk management tools and processes.”

The Federal Crop Insurance Act requires that non-USDA Board members represent core groups involved in managing farm risk. This includes four producers, at least one of whom is a specialty crop producer; one individual involved in insurance (often an agent); and one individual knowledgeable about reinsurance or regulation. The act also requires that the four producer Board members come from diverse geographic areas and represent a cross-section of agricultural commodities.

Michael Clemens has operated his family farm in Wimbledon for more than 40 years and is a customer of the federal crop insurance program. He has served on the National Sunflower Board, chaired the North Dakota Oil Seed Council, and served on the North Dakota Corn Growers Association Board. He is currently the Director for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE).

Rickey Bearden is a third-generation farmer with a 9500-acre family farm, which includes cotton, peanuts, wheat and grain sorghum. He has served with organizations such as Cotton Incorporated; Plains Cotton Growers; the National Cotton Council; and Cotton Council International. Bearden is currently on the Board of Directors for Southwest Council of Agribusiness and Plains Cotton Growers.

Full biographies for the FCIC Board members are available on the RMA website.

FCIC promotes the economic stability of agriculture through a sound system of crop insurance and by providing the means for research and experience helpful in developing such insurance. Management is vested in the FCIC Board subject to the general supervision of the Secretary of Agriculture. The FCIC Board is responsible for maintaining and creating new programs for risk management and risk mitigation in agriculture.

Federal crop insurance is key to the farm safety net. It provides farm producers and owners various methods to mitigate production and revenue risks and helps to maintain a durable rural economy. For more information, visit: https://www.rma.usda.gov

Source: USDA

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