2020 ended on a positive note for Arizona Farm Bureau (AZFB) with membership remaining above 25,000. As always, Farm Bureau Financial Services agents had a large hand in continuing to bring in new memberships and member benefits with insurance clients.
Understanding the impact COVID-19 put on our members became our top priority. Since the pandemic hit in full force last March, the outreach team set a goal to call every agriculture member in the state. Customer care calls surpassed 2,500 contacts at the end of December. We called members to check in on their business, their family and inform our farm and ranch members of any new relief programs or resources related to the pandemic.
The concept of member benefits for the Arizona Farm Bureau became almost non-existent during a portion of the pandemic. Many companies AZFB partnered with shut down for a long period of time or remain closed. This included Harkins theaters, many restaurants, and all theme parks just to name a few. Despite certain benefits not being usable, our agents and staff acquired more than 50 new member benefits in 2020.
Our Valued Partnership with Farm Bureau Financial Services
The Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) team here in Arizona truly went above and beyond in all aspects this year. They never once stopped working for our members. FBFS provided much-needed support to families with an auto insurance premium refund at the end of spring.
Bruce Cain, Business Center Director of Farm Bureau Financial Services, shared the importance of agents keeping business as usual during the pandemic. “When times are tough, the risk is still there,” said Cain. “Insurance is the one thing that should give people the peace of mind that when something bad happens, they will be taken care of. We protect livelihoods and futures.”
The FBFS Grill Team continued to help where possible. They adapted to health and safety protocols to provide meals for various causes across the state. They hit four major events and served over 550 people. Instead of the usual serving buffet-style line, they served pre-boxed meals filled with their famous pulled pork BBQ, sauce, chips, beans, a pickle and a cookie. Water was also available. Serving pre-boxed food prepared by those with masks and gloves allowed for as little contact as possible between the Grill Team and attendees.
Duane Ridl, a Farm Bureau agent from Gila County, brought up the idea to bring dinner to first responders in Payson, Arizona. He and Cain went to Banner Payson in May of 2020 to serve meals to hospital staff and first responders. They worked closely with the local health department for specific instructions and guidelines to provide meals safely. FBFS proudly served those working on the front lines for Gila County and Arizona.
Ridl also led the charge to serve food to those at the Food Bank in Pine, Arizona. The other events the FBFS Grill team served at included two junior livestock show auction lunches and an equine endurance event.
We truly cannot thank our FBFS agents enough for doing what needs to be done during these unprecedented times and continuing to build awareness for Farm Bureau.
“Managing risk is still as important as it ever was,” said Cain. “And ‘protecting livelihoods and futures’ is what we do.”