Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove, Calif.), a former insurance commissioner and a life-long rancher, has introduced the bipartisan Flood Insurance for Farmers Act of 2012, H.R. 4020.
The bill addresses a serious problem for farmers who produce crops and raise livestock in floodplains. As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues its studies of the levee systems that protect agricultural land, many of the levees have been downgraded. Until the levees are improved, farmers in many places are unable to build new or upgrade existing agricultural structures necessary to conduct or increase production and business.
The Flood Insurance for Farmers Act would help remedy this situation by allowing farmers to continue to farm, build necessary agricultural structures and provide a solid economic base for their region. The bill would also allow farmers to obtain subsidized flood insurance on existing and new agricultural structures in these zones. Furthermore, the legislation would establish a task force to conduct a study on legacy community flood insurance issues nationwide.
“Many farmers in my Delta community have personally asked me to help fix this problem,” said Congressman John Garamendi. “I am proud to take their voice to Washington, so American farmers have the freedom to grow their businesses and grow the products this country needs.”
“I genuinely appreciate the work Rep. Garamendi has put into the Flood Insurance for Farmers Act of 2012,” said Charley Mathews Jr., a Rice Farmer in Marysville, Calif. “In particular, this legislation addresses many concerns expressed by the California rice industry. As a rice farmer, I am particularly concerned about existing farm structures such as those used for grain storage which have become incredibly expensive to insure. I applaud the work of Representative Garamendi and look forward to collaboratively working to advance this legislation.”
Click here for an information packet on the Flood Insurance for Farmers Act, including full text, a section by section summary, and background.