US Federal Crop Insurance program authorized
Farmers and the United States government had always had a close, if not symbiotic, relationship. Congress allocated special help to the farmers suffering from the dust bowl with the creation of the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation, which paid farmers to slaughter their pigs and not brings them to market, so as to stabilize prices. Five years later, after portions of the previous Congressional acts were found unconstitutional, the government hit upon the idea of insuring farmers against crop loss.
On this day, February 16, in 1938, Congress created the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, providing protection against “catastrophic” loss of crop.
Enrollment in the insurance program was optional, but there was no reason for farmers not to enroll, as premiums for the program were paid by the United States government. That changed in 1994, when participation became mandatory, but the mandate was repealed again just two years later.