They also have an old piece on crop insurance, focusing on the revolving door between crop insurance and USDA. They report this about Dallas Smith, who used to be a division director in FSA before jumping to the Department under Clinton.
His boss at the time, Smith, maintains that [Ken} Ackerman [head of RMA] was not removed. Smith, who was then acting undersecretary of farm and foreign agricultural services, asserts that “Ken played an important role in the negotiations throughout. He oversaw the negotiating staff and presented the results of the negotiations to Congress and other oversight bodies.”I'm not sure what the subsidy level for crop insurance is, but using EWG's figures for 1995-2010, it computes to 59 percent.
But despite Smith’s denials, Ackerman has stated that he was in fact removed as head of the negotiations. Moreover, Joseph Connor, a former analyst at the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, as well as current and former USDA employees, back Ackerman. They state that the real negotiating power was removed from him. And sources close to the USDA say that it was Dallas Smith who was directly responsible.