The newly formed Livestock Risk Management – Working Group (LRM-WG) aims to improve risk management tools for ranchers. The working group is comprised of producers from across the West and led by University of Wyoming Livestock Marketing Specialist Bridger Feuz. Through a grass-roots effort, the organization seeks to gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current Risk Management Agency (RMA) insurance products available for livestock producers.
While the RMA offers a variety of crop insurance products to assist with the weather and price risk of crop production, there are fewer risk management tools available to livestock producers and the use of these tools tends to be more limited across the industry. There are 3 main products utilized by livestock producers: Livestock Risk Protection, Pasture Rangeland and Forage insurance and Whole Farm Revenue Protection.
The first step in improving the understanding of how these programs are used and where they could be improved is an online survey. The LRM-WG is asking ranchers to fill out the survey and provide feedback on their experiences with RMA’s risk management products.
Bridger Feuz says the LRM-WG wants to understand how these programs are working for producers. “We want to know which programs producers are using, why they aren’t using them and what are some things that producers would like to see changed about those products,” he says. “Really this is just a group of producers trying to understand those products better and provide feedback to RMA to maybe improve them, so they’re more user-friendly for ranchers across the West.”
The survey is pretty straightforward but Feuz says the input of ranchers can really make a difference in the future of these insurance products. “We’re most interested in sharing the information with RMA and showing where some of the struggles are that producers are having. These programs may not work for every producer, every year but they are valuable tools to consider, but hopefully we can help make them more effective for producers.”
LRM-WG will use the collected information to inform the risk management community and the RMA on potential improvements to the current programs as well as potential new products to better serve the livestock industry. Maintaining cash flow and economic stability in the animal agriculture has only become more challenging in 2020. Having insurance products that aid producers in managing financial risk is critical to the success of the industry.
Feuz says the working group is looking to wrap the survey up by the end of May and hope to have the results in the hands of stakeholders quickly.
To partake in the survey, click here.
Northern Ag Network