FMH Employees Find Purpose in CIRB Emerging Leaders Program

Now in its seventh year, the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) from the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) continues to help build the next generation of crop insurance leaders, including two FMH employees.

This year’s ELP class includes Dave DeCapp, FMH Senior Vice President – Marketing, and Ken Ripley, FMH Assistant Vice President – Regional Sales Manager. “The ELP program has definitely opened my eyes to the political side of the business and the importance of having a voice on the Hill,” said Ripley. 

This year’s program began this past August with overview webinars, where class members were introduced to CIRB and the ELP. “Kurt Henke from CIRB gave us a look into the history of the program and how it has changed over the years,” said Ripley. In December, participants visited Kansas City for an industry networking event, where they had the opportunity to visit with representatives from the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS). 

One of the highlights for participants was the fall fly-in in Washington, DC, where the class had the chance to meet with members of Congress. Ripley, who is a farmer himself, noted that the trip expanded his existing knowledge and broadened his perspective on crop insurance. “Getting a ‘behind the curtain’ view of how politics plays into the program was very intriguing to me,” he said. “It showed me how important having a connection and bipartisan relationship is for the success of the program. ” 

DeCapp agreed, noting that “one of the key benefits is experiencing Washington conversations and interactions first-hand.” Those interactions continue to be crucial when promoting and protecting the future of crop insurance. 

“My favorite quote during the week was, ‘It is so important to have a seat at the table, or you will be the meal,’” said Ripley.

Next up for ELP participants is CIRB’s Annual Meeting, taking place mid-February in Indian Wells, California. The program will conclude in April with the Spring Fly-In and Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

Hear what Dave and Ken had to say about the program during the CIRB Annual Meeting in an interview with AgWired’s Chuck Zimmerman:

CIRB22 Interview with Dave DeCapp


CIRB22 Interview with Ken Ripley