For the past several years, throughout the tumultuous debate that finally resulted in the Agriculture Act of 2014, farmers, commodity organizations and some members of Congress continued to chant what became a familiar mantra: “Do no harm to crop insurance.”

When the dust finally settled last week, President Obama signed into law legislation that had been plowed, cultivated, laid by and buried so deep folks had about given up on the prospect of seeing a meaningful law come to fruition.

Despite different parties and various factions within parties often tugging in opposite directions, U.S. agriculture has a new farm program, and not only did the sometimes warring schisms do no harm to crop insurance, they made it stronger.

Passage of the Farm Bill “cemented crop insurance as the cornerstone of farm policy,” says Tim Weber, Chairman of the American Association of Crop Insurers and National Crop Insurance Services.  Weber says strengthening crop insurance proves how much farmers believe in the products.

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Popularity among farmers has reached an all-time high, he said at the annual conference sponsored by National Crop Insurance Services and the American Association of Crop Insurers.

“If I had to sum up the story of the crop insurance industry in one simple statement, I think it would have to be ‘We’ve made a lot progress but our best years remain ahead of us.’”

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator Brandon Willis agrees. Willis, who also addressed the industry’s annual convention, said cooperation between the agency and crop insurers would be essential during implementation.

He said crop insurance is now the “lynchpin” of the farm safety net. He said RMA is now focused on quickly implementing the new law.

Decision time for farmers.

“There is not an agency that I would rather implement a farm bill with than the team that we have at the RMA.  I have a high degree of confidence that the staff we have will get this done right,” he said.  “Throughout the process, we will work with our [private sector] partners, because I know you bring valuable experience…and a perspective that we don’t have,” he said.