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In an op-ed in the Argus Leader, AFBF Vice President Scott VanderWal explained why having a sufficient farm safety net — with crop insurance as the cornerstone — is more critical than ever for farmers. “Crop insurance provides protection against the one thing that even the most resilient farmer cannot defeat — the wrath of Mother Nature,” VanderWal wrote. He also pointed out that crop insurance is not a handout — far from it. To gain coverage, farmers have to put skin in the game. Since 2000, farmers have spent nearly $30 billion out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance protection.