Press Release Archive

Crop Insurance Industry Responds to President’s Budget

Washington (February 10, 2020) – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s FY 2021 budget proposal which includes significant cuts to crop insurance. Click here to read a joint statement from the six crop insurance industry organizations in response to the proposal.

Crop Insurance Coalition Sends Letter Urging Administration to Protect Crop Insurance

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2019)– The Crop Insurance Coalition, led by the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB), sent a proactive letter of 57 national farm, lending, ag input, conservation, and insurance organizations to the Administration opposing cuts to crop insurance during the FY 2021 budget process.

The letter states:

“For good reason, the state of the agricultural economy has been the subject of numerous recent hearings, reports, and media coverage. Cash crop receipts have dropped more than $34 billion since 2012, and despite a recent bump in net farm income this year, net farm income is still down $44 billion from 2013 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Multiple years of hardship have taken their toll on farm families across the country. Farm debt has increased 55 percent over the last decade, and now stands at $415 billion. Moreover, inflation-adjusted farm debt is at a level just shy of the record set prior to the farm financial crash of the early 1980’s. More farms are struggling to service this debt and as a result, farm bankruptcies have increased 24 percent since just last year.

Given this picture of the agricultural economy, now is not the time to make cuts to crop insurance, a program that farmers have described time and again as a linchpin of the farm safety net. This Administration has gone the extra mile during these difficult times to provide much-needed aid to farmers suffering from unfair retaliatory tariffs from China through ad hoc assistance such as the Market Facilitation Program. It would undercut these efforts to then recommend cuts to a program such as crop insurance that provides predictable, on-budget assistance to farmers in a way that helps lenders continue to support America’s farmers and ranchers. No other piece of the farm safety net can provide this reassurance to lenders.”

Please contact CIRB Federal Affairs Vice President Tara Smith at with any questions about the letter or the Crop Insurance Coalition.

CIRB Announces 5th Class of Emerging Leaders

Washington, D.C.- Today, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) named 13 industry professionals to its 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) class. In its 5th year, this will be the largest class to date, with participants selected from CIRB’s membership. The program gives the opportunity for selected professionals to increase their knowledge of advocacy and communications while providing networking experiences with industry leaders.

“The development and growth of the ELP program is just one of the many ways CIRB is a leader for the industry in shaping crop insurance advocacy,” said Zane Vaughn, CIRB Chairman. “I encourage all industry professionals to take advantage of this unique experience which provides a well-rounded curriculum.”

The program, which officially kicks off in September, allows participants to experience multiple Executive Committee meetings, learn how to effectively advocate for the industry with “lobby 101” seminars in Washington and receive media training and social media guidance. New to the curriculum this year is a reinsurance webinar for participants to learn more about the history and functions within the reinsurance industry.

The 2019-2020 CIRB Emerging Leaders Program class includes:

  • Neely Phelps, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc
  • Jay Mark, ARMtech Insurance Services
  • Craig Conroy, COUNTRY Financial
  • Matthew Miller, COUNTRY Financial
  • David Stewart, Crop Risk Services
  • Cade Stockberger, Crop Risk Services
  • Zach Allsup, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa
  • Chad Simon, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa
  • Duane Hynes, Holborn
  • Jaya Hahn, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc
  • Alexis Schroeder, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc
  • Mat Brueggeman, Rural Community Insurance Services
  • Robert Rankin, Rural Community Insurance Services

You can learn more about the program and the new class at:

Emerging Leaders Spotlight: RJ Brinkmeyer
Throughout the year, CIRB will spotlight members of the 2018-19 Emerging Leaders Program and share about their experience in the program.
Emerging Leaders Spotlight: RJ Brinkmeyer
Strategic Accounts Manager, Farmers Mutual Hail

Crop insurance has always been a part of RJ Brinkmeyer’s life. A 2nd generation crop insurance professional, RJ and his brother once co-owned a crop insurance agency which was started by their father in 1966.

In 2011, Brinkmeyer took an unexpected job opportunity with Farmers Mutual Hail as a Field Supervisor, overseeing sales for nine counties in Central Iowa. From there, he quickly moved up and in 2015, became the Strategic Accounts Manager for the state.
Last week, Brinkmeyer joined his fellow ELP’s on Capitol Hill to meet with Members of the House and Senate and advocate for crop insurance. He and his team met with Reps. Finkenauer (D-IA), Davis (R-IL), Adams (D-NC), Rouzer (R-NC), Bacon (R-NE) and Johnson (R-SD), Senator Tillis (R-NC) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). “I find that Hill visits are much like making a sales call in the industry,” Brinkmeyer reflected. “You take time to get to know the Representative you are calling on. You prepare the key points you want to deliver and leave additional resources for them to learn more. Then you close by asking what questions they have for you and see if you can be of service to them.”
This wasn’t Brinkmeyer’s first time visiting Capitol Hill though. As a junior in high school, Brinkmeyer was selected to represent his county at Rural Electric Cooperatives Youth Delegation. It was there that he met Senator Chuck Grassley, who was serving in his first term. Brinkmeyer and his wife, Bridgette, have three daughters and two grandchildren and reside in Hubbard, IA.
The Emerging Leaders Program is designed to equip up-and-coming professionals on key policy issues and prepare them to be effective advocates for the crop insurance industry. All participants are employees of CIRB’s growing membership, which includes both crop insurance and reinsurance companies.
Optimistic Sign that President’s Budget Blueprint Contains No Cuts to Crop Insurance

On March 16, the Trump Administration unveiled their Budget Blueprint. There were no cuts made to crop insurance or to RMA’s discretionary budget.  Click here for the statement that the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau made on the Administration’s Budget Blueprint.

August 30, 2016

CIRB Announces Second Emerging Leaders Program Class

The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) announced the selection of 11 participants for the second annual Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), more than doubling in size from last year’s inaugural class. The program increases crop insurance professionals’ knowledge of key policy issues and prepares them with the skills they need to be effective advocates.

April 12, 2016

CIRB Celebrates Inaugural Emerging Leaders Program Graduates

The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) celebrated its inaugural Emerging Leaders Program class with a graduation ceremony held last night as part of its Spring Policy Conference and Fly-In. CIRB launched the program in 2015 to ensure the next generation of crop insurance leaders are equipped with the tools they need to be effective advocates.

March 17, 2016

Crop Insurance Coalition Letter

On March 17, the Senate and House Ag Appropriations Committee received this crop insurance coalition letter, signed by 58 farm, lending, ag input and crop insurance and reinsurance organizations to advocate for no cuts to crop insurance during the budget process.

February 26, 2016

Crop Insurance Industry- Protect Crop Insurance

On February 25, the Senate and House Budget Committee’s received this crop insurance coalition letter, signed by 58 farm, lending, ag input and crop insurance and reinsurance organizations to advocate for no cuts to crop insurance during the budget process.

February 16, 2016

CIRB: Unified Industry Looks to Future

More than 125 crop insurance leaders gathered for the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau’s 2016 Annual Meeting, which ended Friday in Indian Wells, CA. Recent challenges- and a glimpse at what may lie ahead – were analyzed by expert speakers during the program.  The agriculture community’s unprecedented effort to reverse devastating budget cuts to crop insurance loomed large in the conversation. Click here to read on.