KFB in the Mississippi DeltaPosted on May 9, 2023
Leadership pays a visit to Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance and get a glimpse of agriculture in the Magnolia State.
Kentucky Farm Bureau leaders got a firsthand look at part of the Mississippi Delta region during a recent trip to that state. The group was there to visit farms and convene at the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance (SFBLI) building. There, they heard from SFBLI leadership and held a quarterly board meeting.
KFB President Mark Haney said such a trip provides valuable insight for KFB board members in getting a broader view of the organization’s partner life insurance company.
“The trip provided a wonderful opportunity to visit the folks in the SFBLI home office and learn more about the company,” he said. “SFBLI has been a part of our organization for many years, and it’s a strong company that provides life services and other benefits that protect the assets of our members. Even though we were in Mississippi, we were there to serve Kentucky.”
KFB Mutual Insurance Company CEO and Executive Vice President John Sparrow said SFBLI is an integral part of what KFB provides for its members.
“The people at SFBLI genuinely care about serving alongside us in Kentucky, and they’re going to continue to build a very strong company,” he said. “We get to perpetuate the success that came before us and prepare it for the folks who are coming after us, and I think that is my takeaway from this trip. Farm Bureau is alive and well and it's ever-growing. We will continue to be a market leader in Kentucky through our service because no one can replicate what we have at Kentucky Farm Bureau.
SFBLI CEO David Hurt said the strength of the organization comes from within, something that makes the Farm Bureau family so special.
“I love the Farm Bureau family aspect, and we utilize that at every level,” he said. “It starts from volunteer leaders, the agents, the state board, the executive boards, and all the different (sectors) that make up this wonderful organization. It's amazing to be a part of it.”
Hurt also noted how valuable it is to have KFB and other state organizations visit to hear from SFBLI leaders and get to know the people who make up the life insurance company.
“When we align our principles together, great things can only come from that and I think it all starts with relationships,” he said. “We have a great relationship with Kentucky Farm Bureau. They're one of the best in the industry, and it's a blessing for us to be able to partner alongside them, to strengthen those relationships. I'm excited about what the future holds.”
From an agricultural standpoint, Haney said the trip also provided an opportunity to learn more about the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and to meet with their state president, Mike McCormick.
“I serve with Mike not only on the SFBLI Board in Mississippi but on the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors, as well,” he said. “And when we can bring our members to another state to see what they do in agriculture, it is extremely important. The same is true when they come to our state.”
McCormick said when Farm Bureau organizations come together to learn from each other it makes the whole organization stronger.
“When we have a policy that we develop in our state and know that we've got friends in Kentucky who are having the same issues, developing the same policy, then when we get on a national basis with American Farm Bureau Federation, we're all on the same playbook, all standing together to help our farmers all across the U.S. but especially here in the south where we have a lot of similarities,” he said.
During a year when a farm bill is being discussed in Washington, coming together on issues within Farm Bureau states is vital in getting a successful bill passed, emphasized Haney.
“Even though we may have different facets of agriculture, we face the same problems whether it’s a labor shortage, or supply chain issues, inflation, and competition from other markets that may be unfair,” he said. Then, we have to deal with regulations that are sometimes unfair. And the more that we can share our problems, and the more that we can understand the issues that those state Farm Bureaus are facing, we can better explain to our members of Congress, who have the power of the pen that can help us.”
McCormick said there will be many of the same questions coming up about the farm bill from both states.
“I think the questions that are going to come up in farm bill negotiations will be the same with our state as they are in Kentucky,” he said. “And in getting that same perspective when we go to Washington, we can come with one ask because the most important thing we can do in a farm bill year is to not come divided; that we come and speak with one voice, so all of our farmers get what they need to be successful.”