Connecticut's U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy joined Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) in introducing legislation to reauthorize and improve the Partnership for Risk Management Education and the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) programs, which help farmers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing or conservation practices.

The AMA is only available to 16 states that have historically low rates of participation in the Federal Crop Insurance Program, including Connecticut and Maine. According to a statement from Murphy's office, the Agriculture Management Assistance Act would boost funding for the AMA to $30 million, increase funding limits for farmers to $200,000 over five years, and expand the eligible uses for these funds to include soil health improvements, composting, implementing organic farming, developing value-added processing, and food safety certification in addition to existing authorized uses such as water management structure and soil erosion control.

"Connecticut farms are smaller, grow more diverse crops, and face a unique set of challenges compared to the large, single crop farms that get the bulk of federal assistance," said Murphy. "The AMA is an important source of funding that helps our farmers deal with financial risks and strengthen their businesses."