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Veteran Advisor

BA head for the storm celler

I'll just be blunt.......this is going to be a bashing party on the Farm Bureau Federation...........


since BA is one of their big shots (janitor at the Iowa state office)....this is not focused on him, but the group as a whole.


I was buzzing about in the drought stricken area I call home......just meet with one of the renters.......3 ponds in this pasture,

all but one is about gone, and  the last one in a week or so........renter wants a well.  I looked at the water data maps, and looks

like 160 to 180 foot around that area....last year did a 300+ foot well a few miles away.

At $25 a foot a nice little expense, not to forget the solar plumbing equipment........all in a very very very bad year.


but, as I was driving around, here come on an ad from the farm bureau on a farm station telling us about agriculture, and a bunch

of 20 somethings all bright and happy......then they got on the deal about how we need to talk up agriculture..........



el cheapo is becoming el grumpo..........I drive into the yard and the dogs runs and hide, walk in the house and the boss goes

in the other room and shuts the door.....neighbors see me coming down the road, and they turn off the road as fast as

they can, even if it's a dirt road that is graded twice a year.......only the owner of the local farm supply store waits on me,

the help hide in the back room,  and the fellow at the gas station told me that you can use the fuel card at the pumps, you

don't need to come in and pay it..............


get the picture...........


well as I said above, the FB was running an ad on a FARM station, doing a PR for ag............what  a total waste of my membership

money..........why on gods green earth would you run an ad on a FARM station to promote AG ??????????

we are not the target audience (more on that in a minute)......why don't they run that stuff on the metro areas, the have

a low opinion of farmers ???

and then they want US to talk up agriculture........I thought that is what we were paying THEM to do.

it's nothing but a good old boy network, that I'm paying for......tell me, what good does it do for me, or the vast majority of ag people,

to have a trip to south America to tour their agriculture ??  have they not been told of the internet ??

look at the cost of that, and it does no good what so ever, other than to be able to run around with slides and tell me all about

what's going on down there...........sorry, I care about what's going on here !!!!

we are in the middle of a drought (no matter what usda or nws says).....why do I care to hear about whats going on there !!!!


what is worse, we have a number of things that need our attention.....but rather than getting at the meat of the issue, they play

patty cake back east and the state capitals, smiling and giggling...........


What has FB done for you In the form of a trade deal this year ?


What has FB done for you for something very critical to you , your family and your financial insurance ?


why hasn't FB stepped forward with a plan......after all most of it's members do by private insurance........why haven't they

come up with something.......they've had 5 years also to come up with something.


every year, they put on this cute little deal at the store, and go there for a day and some lucky person wins their grocerys for

the day, via FB.....we have little signs about how much of this goes to the farmer, etc...etc....but hold the phone.....they are doing

this in small, rural grocery stores........the story does not need to be told there, you need to go to metro stores........but you

never see that.......

also for ag week, they buy a whole pay add to talk how important agriculture a rural newspaper !!!!!!!!!!!!!


I talked about their target audience........I think the farmers ARE the target audience..........we hear it and it makes us smile like

a coon eating #$%$@.......people WE KNOW THE STORY.....GO TELL IT WHERE ITS NEEDED !!!


But the FB big people buy the ad stuff produced by the ad companys .


the question.....has FB ever bought ad time in Chicago metro about LA, or flordia


same with all these market problems.......why isn't FB PUSHING to have an investigation into the  grain markets or

the trading structure......which is disadvantageous to the farmers.........nope nothing........


and as I said, why hasn't FB been pushing on healthcare....perhaps one of the biggest challenges for farm families.


maybe all of us need to start to pull on FB's time they earned their keep.



27 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

I dropped my membership years ago. Everything I'm for they're against and everything I'm against they're for. They have outlived their usefulness. The directors are only in it for the free vacations.

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

The Farm Bureau makes a difference.  We host farm tours for groups such as the "Winnebago International Travelers" people that haven`t been on a farm and made their fortunes working on the coasts in a city, they come out to Iowa and we educate them.  We have "Ag in the Classroom" sponsor kids visiting a farm, petting the animals, getting a tractor ride, developing a relationship with the teachers and the school administrations.  It starts with that "mustard seed".


We go to DC and lobby for Ethanol and trade, as I`ve said, I personally meet with Cuban officials, so they could meet and talk with an Iowa farmer face to face.  The Farm Bureau is always promoting trade, not waiting around for governments, if anything they are to aggressive in seeking agricultural trade agreements at the expense of the manufacturing sector, in my opinion.


The Farm Bureau vets politicians, who seek that "Friends of Agriculture" designation.   I recall one state senator seeking our support, I grilled him on his support of legislation barring farmers from doing their own electrical work on their Iowa farms...we were hugely responsible for his defeat, the damned Democrat.     Iowa has half the property tax rate that Minnesota does and 1/3 what Nebraska has because of our great Iowan governor (now ambassador to China) Terry Branstad and the Iowa Farm Bureau in standing up for the farmers of Iowa.


The Waters of the US and Des Moines city water works law suit against farmers was defeated with the Farm Bureau instrumentally involved.  The Farm Bureau has worked to remove burdensome regulations that raise our cost of production and hamper our efficiency.


I could go on, but if the Farm Bureau didn`t stand up for you, then who???   States that have a weak Farm Bureau are places that I wouldn`t want to farm.   The Farm Bureau is a volunteer organization oh the state offices are more full time and paid, but they pretty much have to put their farms on the back burner while serving, so they do require some compensation.  So when the Farm Bureau runs ads in a rural newspaper or radio spot, it`s to get name recognition and build membership, that`s where the strength is, in the membership.   Also a tv spot in Iowa, reaches out to city folks and builds a relationship with them.  They see "oh yeah, that`s the organization that gave my son a tractor ride and works to keep my food the least expensive and safest in the world, what a great bunch of guys and gals!".

Senior Contributor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

😃👍 well said!!!

Veteran Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

As I said....what have they done on healthcare ???

From what I've delt with. Worthless at best.

I tried to explain some things on healthcare and
A call never returned.

I also brought to their attention the issue of
Property insurance issues in the state. A
FAIR program for rural property....oh I had 3
Of them say yes....never a follow up.

Again you pat yourself on the back about a
Petting zoo.....held in a rural county...
Then justify all the money in. The AG media.

Just like your response, how you make us believe

You and fb do all of this......tackle the big problems,
Not the little ones.

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

The Farm Bureau is a grass roots organization, county Farm Bureaus meet and brain storm ideas for their voting delegates to the state, the counties decide what issues their county will support.   A recent example is the defunding of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, well Republicans defunded it to put the money into "clean water initiative" and we will fight to bring back there state funding, there is an example of us going against Republicans on an issue where we felt they are wrong and against agriculture research.


But with healthcare, it isn`t a big topic or even a topic at that may very well change as we vet politicians in the 2018 election.   But at meetings we talk about regulations, farm bill (many want no government involvement or money like hobbyfarm 🙂   )  trade issues (many want out of the WTO)  repair for locks & dams, road repair and funding, environmental issues.   But no one that I can recall has ever brought up Obamacare and health insurance.


The insurance part of Farm Bureau is separate from the Farm organization part of Farm Bureau.   But ElCheapo, this is why Farm Bureau runs ads on your radio station, so guys like you with an opinion on health insurance joins and makes their voice heard.  What I think it is, farmers think it`s too complicated and too rapidly evolving to make policy on.  We rather trust the elected officials that we meet with to best represent us.  


But yeah, join, get on a county board and on the policy development committee and at the meetings say how you support Obamacare and want that to be defended...and please have someone video tape it and put it on You Tube for us    🙂

Senior Contributor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

Quit the rant....Not a big fan of FB either..People tend to preach to the choir. Farming ads are sometimes hard to watch because they portray us as country bumpkins (Farmers 

Veteran Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

There must be something they put in the kool aide at these meetings, and they must buy it in bulk and distribute around, since It has

the similar effect on all.


Yes, there are a few good things FB has done...for the amount and time and money invested, they are very very inefficient.


first, I'm not a supporter of ACA...there are, in my opinion, some good points, but there could be modifications which could be made

if kept in place, could lower costs...I've talked to reps and explained this, and this was based by our small group working on

a health plan...they also seem not to be able to hear...


I have asked several times, "the highest level" of our states assn, to work on allowing a farm group formed...we've talked to the

insurance commissioner, and several other state agencies that told us what needs to be done, and how to do's something

the FB could have done...should have done....nothing...nada...silencio.


it was a grass roots soluation...but nope......I was the highest levels.....that the insurance group, said there were no options....

so they just went on......yes, no them, there would be no profit for the insurance division, thusly "no options".


just what do you have to say about a group that does that.....


there frankly is none.


the same with the FAIR act.....yes that's an insurance issue....of which FB has caused much of the problem, by dropping many of their

own members......again, the highest levels were contacted, and had the situation explained to them, they acted like they didn't know

anything about it, they would look into it.....nothing.........


to give you background.......the last several years, there has been a trend of insurance companys dropping rural property (yes this includes FB)

the local agents have confirmed this, and have become very frustrated...these are FB agents.....

In some states, there is a FAIR program, or in other words a risk pool for property insurance.  All of my neighbors have been victiums,

many of which had is becoming very difficult to insure buildings and other such things in remote areas....if you have a machine

shead at a location, other than your headquarters, it is very difficult to insure it....this was never a problem in the past.

some states have a high risk fund, that will cover such places.  All companys that do P&C are required to state

has contracted with one carrier to take all of them, and they are allow to charge slightly more than the average.......

This is a problem in our state....sometimes you can not have everything at your HQ, or maybe have something at a distance.

Also, some buildings might be older, and they will not cover.  the FAIR program in other states would cover...we all can't

have new buildings, they cost a lot of money...we have to work with what we have, if a tornado or fire would would be

a significant financial impact, one of which we would like to insure for....not saying we want a fancy new Morton building to replace it,

a nice new pole shed or a local contractor putting up a modest cost metal building, or even some of these carport companys are

putting up smaller metal buildings.....but no, such a program does not exist.  the insurance commissioner explained to us what would

need to be done, and it should be fairly easy to do, since there is minium cost to the state, maybe 1 extra person in the office to

oversee, and not have any state funds to help offset premiums.....they were frankly supported it, because they get a number

of call about it each year..... action


as for the local don't need to preach to the choir...ive heard many times the pr for agriculture on a Midwest ag station,

how foolish to run such ads at the farmers.......but I see thru the want them to feel good, build them up, etc,

make them think your their they will keep buying your insurance and pay your silly dues.....

also FB is the lady of the night, for the insurance this state, FB is one of the most expensive companys in the state....

don't believe can go to the state insurance commssioners office website, and look at the consumers guides, and

you can see the cant lie about that.


about the only thing I can say about FB.....they are the cheapest insurance for older farm trucks....but when you factor in the dues,

that's not always the truth.



Re: BA head for the storm celler

It's really a pretty brilliant operation- using insurance companies to leverage (20:1 in some states) the small and dwindling number of people who actually still have a direct interest in government commodity agriculture.


It helps insure that when politicians look at rural community economic development they think agriculture first even though that's only true in the most sparse places these days.


As far as health care, probably a tough sell as the percent of the voting membership that was (at least temporarily) harmed by the ACA is a whole lot higher than the population as a whole. 


However the mystery bill that the Senate will vote on today doesn't appear to offer much help there either.

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: BA head for the storm celler

ElCheapo, I really don`t understand where you`re coming from.  So you called the Farm Bureau office at the state insurance division and asked them to start a "pool" so farmers can buy cheaper insurance?  and you think that would some how negate the doubling and tripling of premiums and sky high deductibles brought on by Obamacare?    


Okay we get our insurance from Mayo, so I`m far from an expert on Farm Bureau`s health insurance, but as I understand Farm Bureau insurance agents sell Wellmark Blue Cross and I think Aetna ...well Aetna pulled out of the state of Iowa.  As I understand, with Farm Bureau you ARE getting a pooled rate, but with Blue Cross doubling and tripling and let`s face it, you`re getting older...yeah you ain`t gonna be happy with your monthly premiums.   But, it seems to me your beef is with Blue Cross, the company that Farm Bureau sells for.  But like I`ve said one hundred times, healthcare is expensive, I mean if you think there`s a lot of money in health insurance, why are they pulling out of states???  If you think it`s a money coining proposition, start the "ElCheapo Insurance Company" and charge everyone $50/month in premiums with no deductibles and see how far you get in this environment of $50 asprins and $100 bandaids in the hospital...Good Luck with that!


But are you even a Farm Bureau member?  Of course if you call the state office with your ideas they`re going to tell you to "pound sand".  If you have Farm Bureau insurance and aren`t happy, drop it and go shop around, there are tons of other companies that will gladly underwrite a new policy for you.