While we see him more often in a ball cap, holding a spatula while leading a team of weekend chefs around the state (and will continue to do so), Farm Bureau Financial Services’ Arizona Business Center Director Bruce Cain retired in January with more than 32 years of service managing staff responsible for personal lines and agriculture claims and underwriting. Cain will be missed around the office; outdoor BBQs for ag groups still get the pleasure of his presence.

Cain has served as the lead of the Farm Bureau Goodwill Grill Team for several years, inspired by former Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers and others to initially connect with local communities after a fire but also to support general outreach. Cain takes on each food event with gusto: food preparations, schedule coordination, all-over-the-state travel, and Grill Team volunteer coordination.

Cain does the cooking for Arizona Farm Bureau's annual Racin' for the Bacon fundraising event. 

The Farm Bureau Goodwill Grill Team has been all over the state serving at state and county fairs, Insurance events, and much more. The man is always busy.

“On just about any weekend you can find Bruce serving some of his famous BBQ at an event around the state,” said Arizona Farm Bureau CEO Phil Bashaw. “He doesn’t do it out of a sense of obligation but out of pure enjoyment in serving others. Whether he is contributing his time to support FFA, County Fair Livestock Auctions, or our Farm Bureau members, his dedication to service is always on full display. Bruce has helped thousands of people throughout Arizona, and I cannot thank him enough for his service. I am glad he is not going far and will still be there for us with his easy smile, quick joke, and delicious BBQ for many more years to come!”

Over the last 10 years, the Goodwill Grill has averaged 33 events per year (including two years where COVID significantly affected the number of events). Also, the average number of people served averages approximately 7,743 meals per year. The highest year was 11,410 in 2023 and the lowest was 2,505 in 2020. The total number of meals served over this period was 77,430.

Oh, and he had a regular job with Farm Bureau Financial Services too. With a central Louisiana farm production background and armed with a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana Tech University, Cain decided to go into the insurance business working in claims and underwriting. Beginning with the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Company, he landed with Farm Bureau Financial Services in Arizona and has been with us ever since.

And we’re privileged to get to hang out with him at future BBQ events going forward. If you’ve never eaten his food, you’re missing out. Cain’s work ethic, his love of family, friends, youth and more means he puts a lot of heart and soul into his cooking. After all, he’s from Louisiana so the bar was set high for him in the creative culinary arts.

We're excited to see where Cain shows up to feed us in 2024!

The Arizona FFA Foundation selected Cain for their 2024 Blue & Gold Award, where he was recognized during the 8th annual Blue & Gold Gala last month at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the February 2024 issue of Arizona Agriculture