Webinar: Accessing Crop Insurance for Organic Farmers

Organic and diversified farms now have a crop insurance option through USDA’s new Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program, as well as disaster assistance options through the Farm Service Agency. Join the CCOF Foundation and California FarmLink to find out how WFRP and other risk management programs address the needs of organic and diversified farms. 
 
Crop insurance can serve as a tool to reduce risk and build your business. New crop insurance programs have opened this important risk management tool to organic and diversified farmers. Learn the basics of the Whole Farm Revenue Crop Protection (WFRP) program from Catharine Anderson of the USDA Risk Management Agency. She will give an overview of the WFRP program, including what crops and commodities the program covers, who’s eligible to apply, how much it costs, and the application process. Learn how WFRP rewards farmers who grow a diversity of crops, as well as meets the needs of organic growers by offering coverage for certified organic acreage. 
 
Then, join Vivian Soffa from the USDA Farm Service Agency for an introduction to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) that offers financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops in the event of a natural disaster. 
 
Finally, Freeman Barsotti, co-owner of Farm Fresh To You, will give a boots-on-the-ground perspective of WFRP, while Nathan Weller from California FarmLink will highlight ways that farmers can assure that crop insurance programs for organic and diversified farms continue in the future. Time will be reserved for questions from the audience.
 
About Our Speakers
 
Catharine Anderson is a risk management specialist for the USDA Risk Management Agency Davis Regional Office. She has worked for the Risk Management Agency (RMA) since 2005, after graduating from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology and a master’s degree in geography/GIS. She maintains the following RMA regional programs: Mint, Nursery, Pecans, Prunes, Safflower, Small Grains, Triticale, and Whole Farm Revenue Protection.
 
Vivian Soffa is the County Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Salinas, California serving the Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo counties area. This office is responsible for providing financial support to farmers and ranchers through programs that are authorized by the farm bill.  Much of her time has been spent on reaching out to farmers who have been historically underserved by the USDA. Her work has helped USDA policymakers recognize that there are unique and diverse needs of farmers in California that require creative approaches to farm program policy and implementation. She and a colleague received the prestigious FSA Administrator’s Award for their extensive outreach efforts to Spanish-speaking farmers on the central coast. Soffa has served as a board member for the Agriculture Land Based Training Association (ALBA) and the California Small Farm Conference.
 
Freeman Barsotti is a co-owner of Capay Organic and Farm Fresh To You with his brothers, Noah Barnes and Thaddeus Barsotti. He and Thaddeus are the company's co-CEOs. Barsotti grew up on his family's farm northwest of Sacramento, the then 20-acre Capay Organic. Barsotti graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2005 with a degree in bio-resource and agricultural engineering. Today, Capay Organic grows more than 130 varieties of fruits and vegetables on 500 acres of certified organic land. In keeping with their parents' vision, the farm practices healthy crop rotation, encourages a diverse ecosystem around our fields, efficiently uses local water sources, and carefully selects produce varieties that grow well and taste great.
 
Nathan Weller serves as California FarmLink’s programs manager, bringing 15 years of experience in rural development and policy, both in the United States and internationally. Prior to FarmLink, Weller assisted family farmers and cooperatives in Central America for six years on building business capacity to direct food security and procurement programs in climatically vulnerable coastal regions of El Salvador. He also worked with the Agricultural and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), as well as in public land management with the United States Forest Service. He has a master’s degree in public policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in social science from Grinnell College.   
 
About Our Partners
 
California FarmLink links independent farmers and ranchers to the land and financing they need for a sustainable future.
 
USDA RMA: This webinar is funded in partnership by USDA, Risk Management Agency (RMA), under award number RM17RMEPP522C037.

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