The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Agriculture will hold listening sessions in February to get feedback from specialty crop growers on the effectiveness of the crop insurance programs available to growers.

Judy Olson, director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Washington, said as the federal safety net for farmers moves more towards crop insurance, they want to ensure that the needs of Washington farmers are being met.

The federal government subsidizes crop insurance, which is offered through private insurance agents and managed by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency. The Farm Service Agency provides protection to farmers who grow crops for which no insurance is available through the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, but fewer growers are participating than expected, according to Olson.

The first listening sessions will be held on February 20 at Washington State University’s Research and Extension Center at 16650 State Route 536 in Mount Vernon. Click here to register.

The second one will be on February 24 at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee. Click here to register. For more information, call (509) 323-3000.