2015-2016 ELP Class

2015-2016 CIRB Emerging Leaders Program

The inaugural class of the Emerging Leaders Program graduated during the Spring CIRB Fly In held April 11-13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to our first class of participants, listed below.


Eric Swanson, COUNTRY Financial
Beth Bjerke, AFBIS
Aaron Rutledge, Farmers Mutual Hail
Nikki Harrod, ADM
Weston Burcham, ADM
Jim Konstanty, Partner Re*

*not pictured

Learn about being a participant in the program directly from this year’s past Emerging Leaders:

Interview with Jim Konstanty, PartnerRe

Interview with Eric Swanson, COUNTRY Financial

This past year the Emerging Leaders Program Participants have taken part in a variety of activities including:

  • Participated in a CIRB hosted webinar that provided an introduction to the industry and the challenges that lay ahead.
  • Attended CIRB’s Fall Executive Committee Meeting and Fly-In in Washington, DC. ELP members had their own program including meetings with CIRB legal counsel, CIRB Coalition partners, Congressional staff and USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. They also participated in their own visits to the Hill with the CIRB EC.
  • Took their advocacy efforts to their hometowns, where ELP members met with their Representatives to discuss crop insurance.
  • Traveled to Kansas City and met with RMA. While in Kansas City the ELP group met also met with representatives from The Scoular Company and NCIS.
  • Advocated on Capitol Hill during the CIRB Spring Fly-in, leading their own meeting with Members of Congress and their staff.
  • Drafted their own opinion editorials on their experience and the value of crop insurance.

Read their Opinion Editorials here:

Federal Crop Insurance Impacts Each of Us” published in Farm Week Now and written by Eric Swanson

Is Crop Insurance Important to You” written by Nicole Harrod

Crop Insurance: A Benefit for All” written by Weston Burcham