Livestock warranty takes guesswork out of payments

News
Mar 16, 2012
by WLJ

Wyoming cattle producers concerned about the financial impact a case of brucellosis may have on their ranch operation can find a safeguard in a new partnership the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) is offering its members.

WSGA has become a Member Services Partner with U.S. Livestock Producers (uslp). Uslp provides unique warranty products to cattlemen, providing them with financial safeguards when faced with brucellosis and other catastrophic diseases such as foot and mouth, tuberculosis, BSE and anthrax.

“This partnership with uslp provides our members access to great catastrophic disease coverage,” WSGA President Mark Eisele said. “We are proud to welcome uslp as our partner in the fight to keep our cattle healthy and our herds free of disease.”

The services offered by uslp give WSGA members control over four factors that can’t be achieved by relying on the indemnification programs offered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) program.

The uslp warranty allows the rancher, not the government, to establish the value of their animals. Any time an animal dies from one of the covered diseases or must be destroyed based on a destruction order by a governing agency, the rancher receives the per head value they selected when the warranty was purchased.

Generally, ranchers have to take the value that USDA APHIS determines is the fair market value for their cattle. This amount continues to be driven by the federal government’s budget. Prompt payment for producer losses is a hallmark of the uslp warranty program. Historically, when a rancher’s herd was diagnosed with brucellosis, they could wait months to receive a determination of value for their cattle from the U.S. government. If they felt the government’s numbers were unfair, their only option was to take more time, and their chances in court, for a more favorable settlement.

The warranty also provides business interruption compensation when any covered disease is identified on an operation. As with the mortality coverage, producers can select from a range of values for their protection and compensation in the event of quarantine of their herd.

“When disease strikes, we all know it’s not just that initial loss of our investment; it’s also the cost of cleanup and disposal before we can bring cattle back to those facilities on our ranch,” WSGA Region V Vice President Rob Crofts said.

Traceback liability has been a huge concern to many producers attempting to capture added value. While there is great reward in providing that information to consumers, the unprotected risk is too great to capture that reward.

To provide protection for any participating producer against the liabilities that come from traceback on foodborne related illness to their operation, the uslp warranty provides liability coverage. This coverage defrays legal fees and settlements associated with a court claim brought against the rancher by someone claiming the food they ate caused bodily injury and came from one of the covered animals. As every rancher knows, these costs can be enough to cripple, if not lose, the ranch. This traceback liability coverage from uslp can be the stopgap ranch families need to stay in business.

“With the elk moving out of Yellowstone and potentially spreading brucellosis, ranchers in Wyoming are gravely concerned with the spread of brucellosis and the devastating impact it can have on family operations,” WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna said. “This is a key time for our members to consider the benefits offered by this warranty product.”

Visit the WSGA website at www.

wysga.org and click on the uslp banner to learn more. — WLJ

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