BY RENEE HENDRIX –
Farm Bureau is a non-profit nationwide business that started right here in the State of Arkansas. In 1959, the Polk county Farm Bureau was formed. The non-profit organization started because there was a lack of opportunities for rural people to get insurance. The Farm Bureau is a member driven organization with several facets. One of the facets is what Polk County Farm Bureau Agency Manager Floyd Clark referred to as the “legislative voice” that the people have at the State Capitol, to voice their ideas and opinions of what is going on out in the 75 counties of Arkansas through a designated liason. Floyd Clark stated that “It [Farm Bureau] is a member driven, a grass roots organization. It is where ideas, resolutions, problems come from the ground to the top.”
Polk County Farm Bureau is owned by its membership in Polk County. Membership as of today is approximately 3,200 members and when you add in the families of these members, it rounds out to about 11, 000 people… just in Polk county. Farm Bureau is govern by a board of directors. Clark oversees three M.S.R.s (Members Service Representatives) and five agents and two in-house adjusters. Together these professionals bring over 130 combined years of insurance knowledge to their members. Floyd stated, “People are looking for customer service… knowledgeable people that know the lifestyle of Polk County… that can relate and serve. We are here to serve our community.”
Farm Bureau is a huge supporter of FFA (Future Farmers of America) and the local 4-H groups. They ensure these kids are taken care of through their yearly contributions. In fact, Polk County Farm Bureau grants six annual scholarships that is funded from their membership funds. These are available to all Polk County youth, including the private school sector as well.
The America Farm Bureau Association is made up of all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The Polk County Chapter is a part of that larger program. The big voice of Farm Bureau is a voice that is respected among state governments as well as national government.
Farm Bureau has been at their current office on South Morrow since 2011, having out grown their previous facility on Janssen Avenue. Floyd expressed his pride for their more spacious office building, boasting a community/conference room and kitchen as well as bigger parking lot that allows them to better accommodate their growing membership.
Floyd said his agents and his agency never shined brighter than during one of the county’s darkest moments because of the commitment of their agents to serve its members. Agents found themselves, like many did following the devastating April 9, 2009 EF 3 tornado, working under incredible stress and pressure from their own losses or that of their families and friends. Floyd said that one of their agent’s houses took a direct hit and yet, the agent was still at the office the following morning to serve his customers. Just a year earlier, on the same date, the county was hard hit with a hail storm. Floyd said between that storm and the tornado, the agency paid out a total of ??? for these disasters. “It devastated our community,” Floyd said but with local offices and agents, they were able to be immediately available and go to work assisting their members.
Floyd stated the agency’s commitment to help members maintain their standard of living. “Whether that tornado destroyed their house, the hail storm ripped off their roof, or when that car is totaled and a wreck… It is our job to help them maintain that standard of living so they can keep on going. If there is anyone looking for a service oriented business, one that believes in its customers and wants to better their lifestyles, Farm Bureau would be a good place for you to do business with.”