SCHUMER PUSHES USDA TO SELECT CORNELL TO DEVELOP DIGITAL TOOLS THAT WILL ASSIST FARMERS IN NY & AROUND COUNTRY IN MAKING DECISIONS ON CROP INSURANCE COVERAGE - 2014 FARM BILL INCLUDES NEW MILK MARGIN INSURANCE PROGRAM & FUNDING FOR WEB TOOLS TO HELP FARMERS ENROLL
Schumer: New Dairy Insurance Program Is Big Improvement from Old MILC Program, But Requires Individual Farmers to Take Action to Enroll and Decide How Much to Cover - Urges USDA to Select Cornell To Develop Web Tool To Assist Dairies Who Need to Make Important Decisions About their Insurance
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to select Cornell University to develop web-based decision tools for New York farmers, as well as farmers around the country, that will help them select the right crop insurance policies for their needs. The 2014 Farm bill, which Schumer supported, includes $3 million in funding for the development of digital tools to assist farmers when they are making decisions about the new farm risk management programs. Schumer explained that one area in particular where these web-based tools will come in handy is to help farmers navigate the entirely new dairy insurance program that was included in the Farm Bill, which requires farmers to make considerably more individual and complex decisions when enrolling than in the previous Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, but will ultimately be a major improvement for dairy farmers. If selected, Cornell'sAgricultural Risk Management and Policy Institute will design these tools for farmers in partnership with the University of Rhode Island and the University of Maine.
"In today's information age our farmers need the best web support we can offer - which I believe Cornell has developed - to help them access the new-and-improved milk support and crop insurance programs we included in the recent Farm Bill," said Schumer.
The 2014 Farm Bill included $100 million for the implementation of commodity support programs. Of that, the bill dedicates $3 million for online tools to assist farmers when they are making decisions about the new farm risk management programs. In particular, one aspect of the 2014 Farm bill that is new for farmers is the entirely new dairy support program that will require New York's dairy farmers to make key decisions they have not had to make before. Schumer explained that because New York's dairy farms are typically smaller family farms, many lack the adequate time or resources to invest in an analysis of the new insurance program, which is why an easy-to-use web-based tool designed by the experts at Cornell will be so critical for these dairy farmers.
Schumer's letter of support to USDA Secretary Vilsack is included below:
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by New York'sCornell University to develop web based decision tools for managing risk and understanding the new crop insurance policies authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill. In partnership with the University of Rhode Island and the University of Maine, Cornell'sAgricultural Risk Management and Policy Institute will develop and manage these vital decision-making tools for Northeastern Farmers as they begin to enroll in important crop insurance and risk management programs.
As you know, the 2014 Farm Bill included $100 million for the implementation of commodity support programs. Of that, the bill dedicates $3 million for online web tools to assist farmers when they are making decisions about the new farm risk management programs. It is especially important to note that the 2014 Farm bill includes an entirely new dairy support program that requires farmers to make considerably more individual and complex decisions when enrolling than in the previous Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. Cornell's unparalleled expertise in both dairy science and policy, in addition to their extensive cooperative extension program will offer invaluable resources to farmers to help them best navigate the new policies of the 2014 Farm Bill.
I am told that Cornell's proposal articulates a vision for a suite of web-based decision tools and resources built on a state-of-the art software platform for delivering user-friendly, robust, research-based decision tools and other relevant risk management information to serve agricultural producers in the Northeast and throughout the United States. This platform will utilize and integrate a variety of researchers, resources, and data sources by leveraging the wide variety of research and programming efforts throughout Cornell and the broader Northeast. Such a comprehensive institute offering and user-friendly web-based decision tool does not currently exist to serve Northeast agriculture. I applaud Cornell University for its foresight, and express strong support for their application.
Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington office.
Charles E. Schumer
Read this original document at: http://www.schumer.senate.gov/Newsroom/record.cfm?id=351798