With unemployment insurance and farm assistance programs on the verge of ending, California farmers are facing a serious problem.
According to the California Farm Bureau Federation, more than 4,000 farmers were left without insurance coverage last year due to a lack of funding.
The Fresno Bee reports that many of the farmers who lost their insurance last year, and who are not covered by a crop insurance policy, are not even able to get an appointment to see a doctor.
“We are having to use our own money,” says Chris Williams, a farmer who lost his insurance in the spring of 2017.
“When I lost my insurance, I went to the county, and I called them, and they told me to wait for a week.”
“I’m not even getting the call anymore,” Williams added.
“It’s hard to get ahold of the county when you can’t even get an interview.”
In addition to his lack of insurance coverage, Williams also found that he had no choice but to cancel his farm insurance policy.
“I don’t want to have to take the hit,” Williams told the Fresno Bee.
“If I have to, I’m going to take a loss.”
“The other thing is, I’ve never paid my mortgage, and the bank is trying to foreclose on me.
If I don’t have enough money to pay the bills, what am I going to do with my farm?”
Williams told The Fresno, adding that the lack of assistance for farmers is just one more reason to reconsider the program.
“With all the cuts and cuts, it’s like they’re trying to kill the program,” Williams said.
“This is just a terrible time.”