Washington wheat farmer Nicole Berg has joined the board of directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corp.

The corporation administers the federal crop insurance program. The board, which includes four farmers, helps set policy for crop insurance.

Berg was sworn in Oct. 1. She will serve a four-year term.

“Crop insurance is probably one of the most important tools in a farmer’s toolbox,” Berg said. “That’s what helps us with those down years, when Mother Nature isn’t so nice to us.”

Berg is a Paterson, Wash., wheat farmer and vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. She will assume the presidency in March.

NAWG nominated Berg, with a letter of recommendation from the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

She was appointed by Bill Northey, USDA under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services.

Wheat farmers want an affordable, quality crop insurance product, said Berg.

“I grow wheat in one of the driest regions in the world,” she said. “Crop insurance is basically what’s kept us in business. When you have continuous drought years, it’s very difficult to make enough money to even make your payments.”

Berg said she hopes President Trump and Congress continue to see crop insurance as an important part of the agricultural safety net.

It’s important for farmers to tell citizens and taxpayers how they use crop insurance, and demonstrate the return on investment, she said.

“(It’s) a win for the taxpayer as well as a win for the farmer,” she said. “We’re in this together. If we can all benefit from a product that’s affordable and useful ... I say we do it.”

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, crop insurance is a tool that ensures food will remain safe and affordable, Berg said.

“I look forward to making this a product that’s affordable for farmers, as well as maybe even expanding into different areas we haven’t really thought of yet,” she said.

“NAWG is excited to announce that FCIC has accepted its nomination of NAWG Vice President Nicole Berg to its board,” NAWG president Dave Milligan said in a press release. He grows wheat near Cass City, Mich. “Berg’s background as a producer and knowledge gained from her experience as part of NAWG’s leadership make her an invaluable addition to the FCIC board of directors.”

“Further,” he said, “NAWG is pleased that Nicole will be part of such an important panel that is instrumental in helping to shape crop insurance policy. This announcement is good news for farmers across the country.”

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