We’ve been sharing the stories of the farmers who rely on crop insurance, but there’s another part of the equation that helps make crop insurance a success: private-sector agents.
Before planting a crop, farmers work with private-sector crop insurance agents to tailor a customized risk management plan that fits their unique needs. This individualized approach is one of the essential strengths of crop insurance.
Dustin Faulkner, a crop insurance agent in Jonesboro, Arkansas, starts the crop insurance conversation with his farmers by outlining the basics of crop insurance and how yield and coverage levels can affect policies.
It’s always difficult to have a farm hit by disaster, but Dustin takes pride in ensuring that his customers are covered should the worst happen.
“To be able to make that phone call in that time of need and let them know that the policy is there for them…you almost feel them sometimes have a little relief knowing that that process is in place. And they did have adequate coverage for their needs.”
It’s no wonder that Arkansas’ farmers trust crop insurance. Last year, crop insurance covered 5.5 million acres in Arkansas, and Arkansas farmers collectively paid $58.9 million out of their own pockets for coverage.
Agent Sam Walker in Brinkley, Arkansas, enjoys knowing that he is making a difference in the lives of his farmers and the economic health of his community. “Everything in Brinkley revolves around agriculture one way or another,” he said. “That’s the only way that we can make it around here is with farming.”
In many of these rural towns, agents are an integral part of the farming community.
“Crop insurance is something I enjoy,” said Lenny Adams, an agent at the Bank of England Insurance Agency in England, Arkansas. “I enjoy going out and sitting on the tractors and the combines and talking with the farmers and gathering data as well as taking care of them on their crop insurance needs.”
The Bank of England is the only bank left in the small town of 3,000 people. That’s why Lenny is passionate about ensuring that farmers have a strong farm safety net. He knows first-hand the financial risks that come with farming as well as how much farmers give back to their rural community.
If the farmers went under, “we’d probably lose every business we have in town.”
Watch these stories and more at CropInsuranceInAmerica.org.