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September 1, 2015
For Immediate Release

Sarah Hubbart
CIRB Announces Inaugural Class of Emerging Leaders  

2015-2016 Program Will Develop Next Generation of Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Industry Leaders
Washington, D.C.- The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau has selected seven participants for its 2015-2016 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The new program looks to increase individual's knowledge and experience with key crop insurance policy issues.

"We value the voice CIRB provides in Washington, D.C and the Emerging Leaders Program will strengthen this voice by developing new advocates for the industry." said Sheri Bane, Chair of the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau. "This program is equipping future leaders around the country to be able to speak out on the most critical crop insurance issues,"

Members of the 2015-2016 CIRB Emerging Leaders Program class include: 

Beth Bjerke, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc
Weston Burcham, ADM
Melissa Gerner, ADM
Nicole Harrod, ADM
Jim Konstanty, Partner Re
Aaron Rutledge, Farmers Mutual Hail
Eric Swanson, COUNTRY Financial

The program incorporates monthly activities that provide hands-on learning experiences with issues important to the industry, development of advocacy and speaking skills, and networking with CIRB leadership, peers and governmental leaders. Through both webinars and in-person events, participants will gain insights into the political process and learn the importance of collaboration. They will be also have the opportunity to attend meetings on Capitol Hill, at USDA and with other allied industry groups that will broaden their connections within the industry. The program will conclude at CIRB's Policy Conference & Fly-In held annually in April in Washington, D.C.

Those interested in applying for the 2016-2017 class may contact Kerry Lynch at 202-544-0067. Please read more about the program and upcoming ELP activities at 
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


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