West Virginia Assistive Technology System

Farm Planning for the Future

Crop Insurance

No one can control the weather or the damages it can cause to your crops and revenue. However, crop insurance can protect you from revenue loss when your crop is damaged by extreme weather. Crop insurance may also serve as collateral for operating costs.

The Crop Insurance Program is federally backed crop insurance. This program is administered by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), an agency of the USDA. Crop insurance policies are sold individually by local insurance agents. Although crop insurance is available through the government, it is not required like auto insurance.
→ Read More

Transferring Your Farm to a New Owner

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that over one quarter of the nation's farmers will retire during the next decade. Estate planning (preparing a plan for giving away your property, possessions, assets or money either before or after you die) can be hard for any family. It can be even tougher for farm families who wish to pass the farm onto younger generations. Farm transference planning is increasingly important for family farms because the majority of these farms do not have a formal succession plan. → Read More

Livestock Insurance

There are many types of livestock insurance, from those that protect large feedlots to policies that cover a 4-H project lamb headed to the local show. Careful planning and a meeting with your insurance agent can help you choose the policy that best suits your needs. Livestock insurance covers travel, death, feedlots and pastures, ocean travel, swine confinement, poultry, and even exotic animals, like elk, bison, llamas and alpacas. → Read More

Emergency Preparedness

The health and safety of your family and home is important when a disaster strikes; but so too is your farm. It is important to have an emergency plan for your farm, crops and livestock. Weather, like hurricanes, floods and tornados, is not the only kind of disaster that can affect your farm. Barn fires, chemical spills and gas line explosions can also hurt your farm at any time and in any area.

Every farm is different in what it is at risk of, what you need to prepare for and what resources are available to your farm to meet its needs during an emergency or disaster. The information in this sheet is intended to get farmers thinking about what their farms' needs may be during an emergency; how best to meet those needs relative to their farm and family; and general tips for emergency preparation for farms. → Read More

Mineral Leases

Marcellus Shale gas wells are becoming more and more common. You may be approached by a landman if you own land on the Marcellus formation spanning West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and southern New York. A landman is an employee of a gas drilling company. A landman's job is to bargain with landowners so they will lease or sell their mineral rights to the company. → Read More

Agritourism Liability

It seems every conference, newsletter, farming TV show or radio program is talking about agritourism. Agritourism includes many kinds of agribusinesses, including pumpkin patches, corn mazes, pick-your-own operations, living history farms, winery tours and tastings, garden tours and hay rides. This gives farmers an opportunity to make extra money, expand their operations and directly market their farm products. These benefits do not come without risks or potential liability. There are several important things you should know before planting the corn for the maze and bringing the sheep in for the petting zoo. → Read More

Farm Property Insurance

Farm insurance protects against the unexpected. It may even be required by your financial lender. Oftentimes farms include the family home and family cars, in addition to the barns, outbuildings, farm-use vehicles and livestock. Comprehensive farm insurance is tailored to fit your farm. It can include coverage for your home, family cars and agribusiness. Crop insurance, a federal program backed by the USDA, is also an important part of reducing farm losses. However, it is separate from traditional farm insurance. → Read More