Veteran Farmer and Rancher Crop Insurance Benefits Now Available

USDA announced this spring that military veterans now qualify for the same benefits as beginning farmers and ranchers. These include:

  • Waiver of the administrative fee on catastrophic risk protection (CAT) and additional coverage policies.
  • Additional premium subsidy of 10 percentage points on insurance plans that feature a standard premium subsidy. (Plans such as livestock gross margin (LGM) for cattle or swine that do not have premium subsidies are not eligible for the additional subsidies.) Note: producers cannot receive both a veteran and beginning farmer and rancher subsidy; 10 percentage points is the limit.
  • Use of another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to a veteran farmer or rancher previously involved in the decision-making or physical activities of a farm or ranch operation.
  • Increase the percent of T-yield used for yield adjustment from 60% to 80% when replacing a low actual yield due to an insured cause of loss.

Who meets the definition of a farmer or rancher veteran?

  • A person who served in the active military, naval or air service in the Armed Forces and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable;
  • First obtained status as a veteran within the last five years;
  • Has not operated a farm or ranch or has operated a farm or ranch for less than five years.

There are restrictions regarding entities:

  • A spouse’s veteran farmer and rancher status does not affect qualification.
  • Partnerships and corporations cannot be a “veteran”. Instead, members must qualify as individuals. If they include members with a substantial beneficial interest (SBI) who are not veterans, it cannot qualify.
  • If the farmer/rancher veteran insures the landlord’s share on the same insurance policy, the veteran cannot qualify.

Other rules:

  • Veteran status is continuous and reapplication is not necessary, although the status lapses after five years as a farm/ranch operator or five years after military discharge.
  • A farmer/rancher veteran may still qualify as a new producer on a crop/county basis.
  • If a producer qualifies as both a veteran and beginning farmer or rancher, he/she chooses one program.

Deadline for application for the 2019 crop is your crop insurance acreage reporting date, which is July 15 in our service area. For subsequent years, it will be the sales closing date.

Contact your Frontier Farm Credit crop insurance officer with any questions or for help with the application today!

Click to view more information on the USDA website.

Advocating for Farmer Veterans

veterans day boxIt is difficult to overstate the role that rural America plays in defending our country. While only 14 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, nearly 45 percent of service men and women grew up in small and rural towns. Among them – Tammy Darbyshire, an account specialist at Frontier Farm Credit’s Emporia office.

Tammy and 29 fellow veterans traveled to Capitol Hill earlier this year to help Farm Credit advocate for programs that support those transitioning from war field to farm field.  Farm Credit partners with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to promote Homegrown by Heroes, a voluntary marketing label to help farmer veterans connect with consumers. Regionally, Frontier Farm Credit works with veterans organizations to provide education on the business side of farming and ranching.

When veterans return home, many are looking for a new purpose. As Tammy knows, they can find that in agriculture. Tammy married a third-generation Kansas farmer 23 years ago. Even though she wasn’t raised in ag, she hopes her sons will carry on the Darbyshire farming legacy.

“It takes a great appreciation to be in agriculture,” Tammy said. “You have love it to put in the hours, to do what they do to be in ag.”

For her part, Tammy draws on many of the skills she learned in the military to serve her customers at Frontier Farm Credit.

“The No. 1 thing I learned in the military was team work. You have a platoon and you have these people who always have your back,” she said. “Being a teammate at Frontier Farm Credit is so easy because the people are so easy to work with. And we respect each other, just like in the military.

“I think our customers can feel that each time they walk in the office. They know we’re going to them, too.”