Agriculture is in our company DNA. From protecting family farms to large-scale ag operations and hiring people that are passionate about farming and ranching, ag is central to who we are. We’re looking for people who are as passionate about agriculture as farmers and ranchers are about their operations. Keep reading to find out more about what it takes to work in an ag-related position at Farm Bureau.
A Background in Ag…. Or Not
Jessi Doke, Ag Business Center Director in Nebraska, understood insurance but didn’t have a lot of experience with agriculture when she started. She used every opportunity she had to dig in and learn the subject matter. “There are so many people willing to help you by sharing knowledge and insight about the ag industry that it’s helped me get to where I am today,” she said.
“Our team definitely encourages employee development. We encourage people to seek out experience on a variety of teams to really round out their knowledge. Every opportunity presents a chance to deepen your ag understanding. No two farms are alike, so the more people you speak to, the better prepared you will be,” said Jessi.
She grew her experience by having conversations and asking her ag connections – specifically the farmers she knew – if she could shadow their day, absorbing details and jotting thoughts down as she went. She asked questions and figured out what’s important to farmers and ranchers. Then, she went back and researched coverages, and looked for ways to enhance the relationships. She took classes to expand her knowledge and worked with people at Farm Bureau to deepen her understanding of agriculture.
While ag-related experience can be diverse and is beneficial at Farm Bureau, she stresses it’s not a prerequisite for success. “If you are passionate about helping people, we will help you learn what you need to know to make a difference.”
Eric Kracke, worked as an Ag Marketing Underwriter (AMU), and recently moved into an Ag Operations Performance Manager role, had the opposite challenge. When he started, he understood ag, but he didn’t have a background in insurance. “I was a farmer before starting at Farm Bureau, so I brought a lot of first-hand knowledge with me. I know what farmers and ranchers look for to protect their ag operations.”
“Agents and the people in the Home Office appreciate my ag background. They really want to understand my experience,” said Eric. “They want to know what will make a difference to our client/members, and how we can better serve them. I can provide a lot of first-hand insights. Even though I had a lot to learn about insurance when I started, it’s been a good place for me to use my farming experience.”
“To be a great AMU, you need to develop the trust of the agent as well as the client/member. You need to have a thorough understanding of our ag coverages and work together to meet the needs of the farmer or rancher,” said Eric. “You really get to know the agent on a deeper level, and we share a common goal.”
Jessi agreed that the partnership is second to none. “I really enjoy working with our agents. We have a very good relationship. They will call up and ask a question, and they appreciate when we provide ag-related insight. It helps the agents stay competitive. They’re great about sharing success stories when something goes well.”
Our employees in ag-based roles like Eric and Jessi spend a lot of time working in agent offices or at client/members’ farms and ranches. When they’re not on site, they work from home. “You’ve got to be self-disciplined when you are working from your home,” says Eric. “There are so many ways to connect with your team, it’s almost like you are in the same room. We connect with regular conference calls, regional meetings, and visits to the Home Office. Everyone truly is just a phone call away when you need them.”
Join the Ag Team
Are you passionate about ag? Come check out the opportunities Farm Bureau has to offer. We have a variety of openings supporting agriculture. There has never been a better time to join the #1 ag insurer1 – the opportunities are endless. Keep an eye out for openings or join our Talent Network today.
1 No. 1 ag insurer across our 8-state territory; 2018 SNL P&C Group – Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company direct written premium.