CIRB Emerging Leaders Graduate Virtually

FMH's Chad Simon and Zach Allsup graduate from CIRB's Emerging Leader Program, now in its fifth year.



Two participants from FMH graduated from the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) Emerging Leaders Program via a virtual CIRB Executive Committee meeting in late April. Zach Allsup, Assistant Vice President of Claims, and Chad Simon, Assistant Vice President of Product Development, were recognized for their completion of the program during the Zoom conference call.

In addition to recognizing this year’s graduates, attendees were given industry updates and heard directly from RMA administrator Martin Barbre. Program participants normally graduate at the CIRB Spring Fly-In event in Washington, D.C., but this year’s in-person event was cancelled due to pandemic-related restrictions.

For both Simon and Allsup, one of the highlights of the program was visiting Washington, D.C. last year to meet with congressional leaders and industry experts. Simon noted, “It really increased my awareness of issues happening in D.C., and it was a great opportunity helping educate lawmakers on how crop insurance works as a safety net for the American farmer.”

Allsup added, “The D.C. trip, hands down, was the most unique highlight of the experience, but some of the speakers at the CIRB annual meeting were very interesting — especially Jim Wiesmeyer from Pro Farmer, as I really enjoy hearing about the farm economy and financial outlooks.”

Allsup and Simon are part of CIRB’s fifth and largest graduating class of Emerging Leaders. The Emerging Leaders Program offers opportunities for professionals in the crop insurance industry to build their knowledge and experience with key issues. Throughout the program, participants take part in educational and leadership events including webinars, fly-ins, and the CIRB Annual Meeting.

Since the program’s inception, FMH has enrolled employees in each graduating class, further developing the next generation of crop insurance leaders. Simon became interested in the Emerging Leaders Program after learning about it a few years ago. He knew it was something he would like to experience.

Having graduated from the program, Simon plans to continue educating others about the importance of crop insurance through social media and by serving as a resource for state representatives. Allsup said he is more tuned into political affairs and is inclined to contact representatives when needed.

Allsup reflected on his program involvement: “All in all it was a great opportunity and I am proud to be a part of it. It was unfortunate we were unable to attend the last Spring Fly-In event in-person. In the short time we were together, our cohort became close and we were all disappointed not to be able to come together again. I look forward to continuing to foster a relationship with many of the ELP members.”

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Zach Allsup - Assistant Vice President of Claims

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Chad Simon - Assistant Vice President of Product Development