USDA Risk Management Agency head to visit UA campus

March 12, 2015
Contact Information:

Dave Edmark, Division of Agriculture Communications
479-575-6940 / dedmark@uark.edu

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brandon willis Brandon Willis

Fast facts:
• RMA administrator Brandon Willis is a graduate of the UA agricultural law program
• Willis will discuss his work in federal agricultural policy
• RMA supervises federal crop insurance program

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Brandon Willis, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, will speak at 10:15 a.m. Friday, March 20, at the Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Building at the University of Arkansas. The speech will take place in Hembree Auditorium. Faculty, students and members of the public are invited.

The visit by Willis is sponsored by the National Agricultural Law Center, a unit of the UA System Division of Agriculture. He will discuss his extensive experience in federal agricultural policy, his involvement in recent Farm Bill legislation and his duties with the federal crop insurance program. Willis holds a master’s degree in agricultural law from the UA and was a graduate assistant at the National Agricultural Law Center.

“Brandon has had a front row seat and hands-on involvement in the development of federal farm policy over the past several years,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center. “His insight into farm policy is unique, and we are extremely honored that he will be here to speak with us.”

The Risk Management Agency operates USDA‘s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, which provides the insurance to farmers and ranchers. The agency approves the premium rate, administers subsidies and sponsors educational programs on risk management.

“The RMA is a very significant agency for Arkansas agriculture as federal farm policy shifts toward heavier reliance on crop insurance as a key risk management tool,” said Pittman.

Prior to becoming RMA administrator, Willis was senior advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Title I commodity programs, farm legislation matters and disaster assistance. He has also served in other USDA administrative positions since joining the department in 2009.

Willis was an agriculture legislative assistant to Sen. Max Baucus of Montana from 2006 to 2009. He grew up on a sheep ranch in Utah and has managed his family’s raspberry farm.

The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.