The History of KFB in Calloway County - Kentucky Farm Bureau

The History of KFB in Calloway County

The year was 1925 when Calloway County Farm Bureau filed its Constitution and By-Laws at the courthouse in the city of Murray. Farm Bureau was an organization that lobbied for pro-agricultural issues for farmers throughout the Commonwealth. Mr. LC. James was Calloway County's first president. The organization's purpose was to represent the interests of Calloway farm families, "by seeking to improve our community's schools, to stabilize farm prices and to study means for reducing the cost of agricultural production." 

Of course, reaching such ambitious goals required funding, so in 1925 each member-family was charged a $5.00 annual membership fee with 50 cents allocated to the state organization. The earliest available records showed that 73 Calloway farm families belonged as of 1938. 

However, the need for increased membership resulted in the monumental decision to offer Insurance Services on a statewide basis beginning in 1944. This decision was a game changer! Now NON-farm families and farm families alike in Murray-Calloway County were financially contributing to KFB's goals of... "better schools and less expensive groceries" ... when they purchased the new insurance company's competitive products ... with its accompanying membership. 

Mr. Harvey Dixon was the first KFB insurance agency manager in Calloway County and opened an office at 209 Maple Street in 1944 that serviced the county's 226 member families. In 1959, the membership had grown to 1,178 and Mr. Dixon hired Ray Broach as an insurance sales agent. Harvey passed away suddenly six months later and Ray became the county's new agency manager. 

Due to a growing number of customer-members, in 1968 the Calloway County Farm Bureau office moved to 309 South 5th Street, the former home of the Max Churchill Funeral Home. But an ever-increasing membership totaling 2,178 families in 1979 caused the Board of Directors to authorize construction of a new facility at 310 South 4th Street by Max Sykes Construction. Mr. Carmon Parks, local ag teacher and farmer served 13 consecutive years as President during this time period. Ray was working with his son Terry Broach when he hired new insurance salesman Bob Cornelison in 1985. Terry transferred to the KFB Claims Division in 1987 and Ray retired in 1997. Cornelison became the County's third Agency Manager in 1997 and hired career agent Stuart Alexander that same year. 

However, by the late 1990s, the Directors saw the need for yet an even larger facility and purchased four acres on the Bypass just west of the Murray State University football stadium and Regional Events Center. In 2001, the Calloway County Farm Bureau contracted the Cleaver Construction Company to build a modern 5,000 square foot facility at 1702 Highway 121 Bypass which serves as home to the county Federation and Insurance offices, now serving over 4,000 local families. 

By now the Calloway County Farm Bureau under the direction of its Board of Directors was one of the most active and productive pro-agricultural organizations in the County and was consistently recognized as a state leader. A review of the county's minutes reveal the names of several local farm families that consistently served their profession throughout the decades - such as the Burchetts, Carraways, Crouches, Cunninghams, Feltners, Furches', Geurins, Herndons, Hills, Overbeys, Palmers, Parks, Paschalls, Potts, Pucketts, Smiths, Stahlers, Stockdales, Taylors, Thorns, Winters, Workmans and others. This group of people were also responsible for rewarding thousands of dollars in local scholarships all the while promoting agriculture in our county and state. Our own Sharon Furches was elected the 2nd Vice-President of the state organization. 

Of course, the insurance agency could not have served the goals of the county Federation without the dedicated work of such employees as Mary Elizabeth Ezell, Denie Cutrer, Hilda Jo Rogers, Marilyn Thornton, Deanna Canter, Judy Walker, Leigh McCoart, Stefanie Collins, Stephanie Kelly, Deanna Robinson, long time Office Manager Alesia Irvin, Vicky Lambert, Betty Peters, Tracey Kelly, Lynn Moore, Darcie White and others. Adjusters who served over the years were Cody Caldwell, Larry Simms, James Gibson, David Heathcott, Danny Brittain, and Landon Owen. 

The statewide organization as well as the county are run by a dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors made up of agricultural professionals who share the same goals of their predecessors ... "good schools, stable farm prices, reduced production costs, quality membership services and perhaps most important of all. .. affordable food for all." 

Sources: "Seventy-Five Years of KY Farm Bureau {1919-1994}"; C.C.F.B. Constitution and By-Laws (dated 1925}; C.C.F.B. minutes (various years) 

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