The effect of food-for-work (FFW) programs on crop choices for farm households in rural Ethiopia is analyzed. FFW compensation reduces the household’s consumption risk in the face of adverse production shocks. I explore how this reduction in consumption risk conditions households to opt for high-yielding and high-return crops. Using panel data, we find that access to FFW two periods ago positively affects maize crop choices in the current period. This result is robust to other shocks and crops in the household’s portfolio. We conclude that access to FFW programs has long-term effects on crop choice behavior hence FFW can be designed to improve adoption of high yielding crops and varieties.