Oct 17, 2016
Agriculture Secretary reappoints four members to FCIC board

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has reappointed four members to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) board of directors. James Bardenhagen, John F. Finston, Iris V. Sáenz and Kenneth Ray Sneed, who joined the board in 2013, will each serve another four-year term of office.

The FCIC Board oversees the federal crop insurance program, managed by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The board reviews crop insurance products presented by outside parties and RMA, and determines which programs will best help farmers and ranchers. Crop insurance provides protection against a loss in production due to natural perils such as adverse weather conditions, insects or plant disease, or wildlife.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act requires that non-USDA board members represent core groups involved in managing farm risk. This includes four producers, at least one of whom is a specialty crop producer; one individual involved in insurance (often an agent); and one individual knowledgeable about reinsurance or regulation. The act also requires that the four producer board members come from diverse geographic areas and represent a cross-section of agricultural commodities.

James Bardenhagen, of Bardenhagen Farms, is a specialty crop farmer growing apples, cherries, grapes, potatoes, hay, and small grains in Suttons Bay, Michigan.

John F. Finston is general counsel and deputy commissioner for California’s Department of Insurance, an insurance regulator, and an attorney in San Francisco, California.

Iris V. Sáenz, a native of Premont, Texas, is a crop insurance agent and the owner of South Texas Insurance Services in McAllen, Texas.

Kenneth Ray Sneed of Sneed Farms is a third generation farmer growing soybeans, cotton, corn and wheat in partnership with his brothers in Drummonds, Tennessee, for 38 years.

Full biographies for the FCIC Board members are available on the RMA website.

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