Department of Agriculture
Risk Management Agency Fact Sheet
Washington National Office — Washington,DC
Revised August 2021
About the Risk Management Agency
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), created in 1996, serves America’s agricultural producers through effective, market-based risk management tools to strengthen the economic stability of agricultural producers and rural communities. RMA is committed to increasing the availability and effectiveness of Federal crop insurance as a risk management tool.
RMA manages the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to provide innovative crop insurance products to America’s farmers and ranchers. Approved Insurance Providers (AIP) sell and service Federal crop insurance policies in every state through a public-private partnership with RMA. RMA backs the AIPs who share the risks associated with catastrophic losses due to major weather events. In addition, RMA assumes some of the risk generated by the crop insurance program administered by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
RMA’s Vision Statement
Securing the future of agriculture by providing world class risk management tools to rural America.
RMA’s fiscal year 2021 operating budget was $67.1 million. RMA managed more than $114 billion worth of insurance liability in 2020, the most recent completed crop year.
RMA employs approximately 390 permanent staff in offices around the country. The RMA Administrator serves as FCIC’s manager. Apart from the Office of the Administrator, the Agency has three program areas:
- Insurance Services ensures the crop insurance program is adaptive, effective, and actuarially sound at the local level by being responsive to regional stakeholders, producers, and crop insurance providers. A primary focus is on risk management education and outreach efforts and ensuring coverage for producers through the exceptions, or written agreements process.
- Product Management is responsible for overseeing product development and maintaining existing policies.
- Compliance is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the Federal crop insurance program by assessing and investigating program vulnerability, fraud, waste, and abuse; and recommending changes in policies, loss adjustment, and farm-service-related procedures, agreements, and contract services.
- Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
FCIC is a wholly owned government corporation that administers the Federal crop insurance program.
The FCIC Board approves any new policy, insurance plan, or major modification to an existing plan or other materials under procedures established by the Board.
The FCIC Board includes three members from USDA and six members from the private sector. The members from USDA include the Under Secretary of Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, USDA’s Chief Economist, and the RMA Administrator (non-voting) who serves as manager. The members from the private sector include four farmers (one of whom grows specialty crops), an insurance professional (often an agent), and an individual who’s knowledgeable about reinsurance or regulation.
- Crop Insurance
The Farm Safety Net
Agriculture is an inherently risky business. Farmers and ranchers need to regularly manage for adverse weather and financial, marketing, production, human-resource, and legal risks.
Federal crop insurance is the pre-eminent risk management solution for farmers and ranchers, providing effective coverage that helps them recover after severe weather and bad years of production. For some farming and ranching operations, crop insurance is the difference between staying in business or going out of business after a disaster. For the next generation, crop insurance provides the stability that will allow them to begin farming.
- Public-Private Partnerships
The public sector’s strengths benefit the crop insurance program in many ways. By forming public-private partnerships, RMA enhances its ability to offer new options and expanded coverage for producers who have traditionally been left out of the farm safety net, thereby making our nation’s food production more resilient.
Education and Outreach
RMA’s Risk Management Education Partnerships Program develops training and education tools to help farmers and ranchers, especially those traditionally underserved or with limited resources, learn how to effectively manage long-term risks and challenges.
Through training and education partnerships, producers receive assistance in understanding and using crop insurance and other tools so they can make the best risk management decisions for their agricultural operations.
Past partnership agreements have included universities, county cooperative extension offices, and non-profit organizations.
Expanding Insurance Availability
By listening, learning, and testing new or expanded insurance options, RMA continues to ensure that a critical safety net is available for the greatest number of farmers and ranchers. RMA’s innovative insurance options help promote sustainable growth for the industry, support crop diversification, and most importantly, keep farmers and ranchers on their land.
The 2014 Farm Bill strengthened crop insurance by directing RMA to provide more risk management options for farmers and ranchers and by making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers. It continued the growth of the crop insurance, and provided avenues to expand farm safety net options for organic producers and specialty crop producers. It provided for increased program integrity, guaranteeing that tax dollars are used effectively and efficiently as we expand the farm safety net.
RMA’s innovative Whole-Farm Revenue Protection plan offers revenue insurance for all of a farm’s commodities at one time. More tools are available for beginning farmers and ranchers, organic farmers, and specialty crop farmers, such as fresh fruit and nut growers. For more information on expanded insurance options, go to News about Expanded Insurance.
- Where to Buy Crop Insurance
All crop insurance policies are available from private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers and on the RMA website Agent Locator.
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This fact sheet gives only a general overview of the crop insurance program and is not a complete policy. For further information and an evaluation of your risk management needs, contact a crop insurance agent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, complete, sign and mail a program discrimination complaint form, (available at any USDA office location or online at www.ascr.usda.gov), to: United States Department of Agriculture; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Ave., SW; Washington, DC 20250-9410. Or call toll free at (866) 632- 9992 (voice) to obtain additional information, the appropriate office or to request documents. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136.