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HIGHLIGHTS FROM CROP INSURANCE BUREAU'S 50TH ANNUAL MEETING
Source: Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau news release

Last week, just as President Obama signed the new farm bill into law, crop insurance leaders gathered to celebrate the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau's 50th Anniversary and discuss what the future holds for the farm safety net.

"Today, crop insurance is the foundation of farm risk management," CIRB Chairman Greg Mills said. "But we must remember that future policies that are put in place in Washington will have real consequences on our industry, our customers, and ultimately, the public. That's why we must ensure that our decision makers understand the important service crop insurance provides."

More than 100 crop insurance brokers, reinsurers, and members of allied industry attended the meeting, which was held February 5-7 in Scottsdale, AZ. Speakers provided a policy forecast and discussed how evolving technologies and changing world markets may impact the industry in the years ahead.

Mary Kay Thatcher (American Farm Bureau Federation) and Jim Wiesemeyer (Informa Economics) provided a look into a post-farm bill world and the changing political outlook for 2014. Brandon Willis (USDA's Risk Management Agency) discussed what lies ahead for the agency and the future of the public-private partnership.

A lively panel discussion featuring moderator Sara Wyant (Agri-Pulse), Michael Toscano (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), Don Preusser (John Deere), and Daniel Melia (RoboFlight Systems) focused on the future of "Big Data" and the impact that new precision agriculture technologies - including unmanned systems - could have on farming and crop insurance.

The recipient of CIRB's 50th Anniversary Chairman's Award, the organization's highest honor, was Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), who has played an instrumental role in building crop insurance into what it is today - the cornerstone of farmers' risk management programs.

"You're on the front lines of the program - and of the public-private partnership that has proven to work so well - and your voice should be heard. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that the crop insurance program is as strong and effective as possible," Sen. Roberts told attendees.

CIRB Executive Vice President Michael Torrey also provided an update on the future of the organization.

"Crop insurance will continue to grow in importance among farmers, ranchers, and lenders in rural America. However, the policy discussions that began during this farm bill will continue, underscoring the critical role that CIRB plays as a unified, respected voice for the industry in D.C.," he said.

CIRB will continue to deliver on a long term strategic plan to ensure that the crop insurance and reinsurance community is well-represented in D.C. and beyond. Thanks to the support of its members and Executive Committee, CIRB is well equipped to lead the crop insurance industry into the future.

CIRB extends special thanks to the sponsors of its annual meeting: ADM Crop Risk Services, Farmers Mutual Hail, Partner Re, Holborn, Munich Re, RCIS, Guy Carpenter, Totsch Enterprises, ProAg, John Deere, Mapfre Re, Ag Max/Western Ag, Markel, Renaissance Re, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, and ARMtech.

For more information about CIRB's annual meeting, contact Sarah Hubbart at shubbart@torreydc.com or call (202) 544-0067. Event attendees can soon access archived speaker presentations and photos at www.cropinsurance.org.

About CIRB:
Founded in 1964 and headquartered on Capitol Hill, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) is proud to provide unparalleled advocacy, support, and membership services to the crop insurance and reinsurance community. Today, CIRB members provide a vital component of the farm safety net, writing policies in every state and providing billions of dollars in crop protection. Learn more about us at http://www.cropinsurance.org/.


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