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Source: Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau news release

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.

"In forty years of following ag policy, I never have seen agriculture work together as quickly - and effectively - as your industry did last fall," Jim Wiesemeyer of Informa Economics told attendees.

The educational program featured Brandon Willis, Tim Witt and Tim Gannon (USDA-RMA), Joel Leftwich (Senate Agriculture Committee), and Mary Kay Thatcher (American Farm Bureau Federation), who provided an update from inside the Beltway. Historical climatologists Evelyn Browning Garriss and James Garriss (The Browning Newsletter) brought a big-picture perspective to forecast the upcoming weather cycle and what it may mean for agriculture. Michael Swanson (Wells Fargo) discussed factors impacting the world agriculture market.

"It is critical that decision makers in Washington understand the important role that crop insurance plays in rural America, and those of you in this room have been essential in the delivery of that message," said current CIRB Chair Sheri Bane of COUNTRY Financial.

The meeting was attended by crop insurance industry leaders, reinsurers, and members ofallied industry. Click here for a full conference program. CIRB's 2016 Chairman's Award - the organization's highest honor - was awarded to former CIRB Chairman Greg Mills of ADM. CIRB's inaugural Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) class also participated in the meeting. CIRB's ELP helps equip the next generation of crop insurance leaders to be effective advocates.

CIRB extends special thanks to Annual Meeting sponsors: ADM Crop Risk Services, Farmers Mutual Hail, Partner Re, Holborn, Guy Carpenter, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Allianz Risk Transfer, Munich Re, Renaissance Re, RCIS, Totsch Enterprises, AgriBank, ARMtech, Markel Re, MAPFRE Re, and Western Ag.

CIRB members will next meet in Washington, D.C. during the organization's Spring Policy Conference and Fly-In on April 11-13, 2016. For more information about CIRB's Annual Meeting, including speaker interviews and photos, visit or contact Sarah Hubbart at

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