Crop Insurance Today November 2013 - (Page 32)
Kent A. Petersen Retires
After almost 40 years in the crop insurance industry, Kent A. Petersen retired from
Hudson Insurance Group in September 2013.
From 1973 to 1990, Kent worked for Crop
Hail Management, Inc., starting as a crop insurance adjuster and working up through the
ranks to Chief Operations Officer. From 1990
to 1992, Mr. Petersen assisted with the transition as Crop Hail Management merged with
Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS)
and in 1992 he was named the Manager of
Underwriting and Reinsurance for RCIS. He
served in that position until 1997.
After a brief "retirement" from the industry, Mr. Petersen returned to the industry
as President of CropUSA in January 2003.
In 2008, Hudson Insurance Company pur-
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not changed a whole lot, though optimism remains that 2013 will be the year rural America finally gets a new bill.
The process that began with farm bill hearings in 2011 and a failed year-end attempt to
pass a new farm law through the budget super
committee. Then in 2012, more hearings led to
a Senate passed Farm Bill that eventually died
in the House in favor of a one-year extension
of the '08 law.
It started all over again in 2013, and this
time, the House and Senate each passed a
Farm Bill, albeit different versions that must
now be ironed out in a Conference Committee. The outcome remains in question, but if
a bill finally passes and changes are coming it
will be imperative that USDA/RMA work together with the industry to ensure a smooth
and successful role out.
Throughout the debate in Washington,
DC, crop insurance's popularity and importance has never been questioned, though critics continue to single out the anomalous expenditures related to the 2012 drought. NCIS
has been vigilant in putting such cherry-picking in perspective with a campaign dedicated
to cutting through the spin and presenting
"just the facts."
"Just letting it roll, letting the high times
carry the low...."
In the mid to late 2000s, U.S. agriculture generally experienced good weather. As
chased the assets of CropUSA and the employment contracts of many employees. Kent
supported that transition and was named
Senior Vice President of Hudson Insurance
Company and President of Hudson Crop. He
remained in that position until his retirement.
While with CropUSA, and subsequently
Hudson Insurance Company, Mr. Petersen
was instrumental in securing this startup
company's first Standard Reinsurance Agreement. In less than eight years, under his
guidance, Hudson Crop went from writing
its first crop insurance policy to supporting
over $250 million in premium; witnessed the
expansion of the company into 35 states; and,
saw employee numbers go from a handful to
over a hundred in just a few short years.
Mr. Petersen was a member of many industry organizations including National Crop
Insurance Services, where he served on the
Board of Directors from 1992-1997. He was
also an active member of the American Association of Crop Insurers, serving as a strong
advocate for the crop insurance industry.
should be expected, crop insurance companies
earned positive returns. Private crop insurance and reinsurance companies use the years
of low losses to build surplus in order to use
the accumulated surplus to pay claims in the
catastrophic years. This lets the "high times
carry the low." In fact, in 2012, crop insurance
companies lost money, as well as in 1983, 1984,
1988, 1993 and 2002.
Most people outside of agriculture do not
realize that, in the context of overall federal
spending, monies spent on farm policy are
small. In fact, about one-quarter of one percent of the federal budget is spent on farm
Also, data recently presented by NCIS
shows that, when corrected for inflation in
crop prices, total farm safety net expenditures
were actually higher in fiscal years '82, '83, '85,
'86, '87, '93, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '05, '06, and
'09 than they were in '13. (Choices Magazine,
3rd Quarter 2013-see the reprinted article beginning on page 25).
It is important to recognize that while crop
insurance program costs have increased over
time as market prices and program participation have risen, government spending on farm
safety net programs as a whole has trended
down over the past decade.
"Don't matter how you do it, just do it like
you know it...."
USDA Undersecretary Michael Scuse began the year by applauding crop insurers for
the way companies, adjusters and agents handled the catastrophic drought of 2012. "To this
day, I have yet to have a single producer call me
with a complaint about crop insurance," he said
during our annual convention in February.
We weren't finished. The spring sales activity saw an increase in insured acres from 283
million in 2012 to 294 million acres in 2013.
Agents and companies alike were busy helping
farmers protect their 2013 crops.
It is all made possible by the everyday "...
stock and trade..." items that our industry is
involved in-NCIS Regional/State Committee
meetings and adjuster schools, train-the trainer sessions, standing committee meetings, adjusting losses and paying claims, and training
agents and adjusters just to name a FEW.
With that the final 2013 installment of
TODAY® magazine contains various articles,
including the "Ten Considerations Regarding
the Role of Crop Insurance in the Agricultural Safety Net," an article by Laurence Crane
explaining the producer risk management
education sessions held in Arkansas and Mississippi earlier this year, a recap of the NCIS
schools and field days, a feature of two farmers
from Vermont who rely on crop insurance in
their operation, and an introduction to the two
new NCIS 1890s scholarship recipients.
Adios Buckaroos, see you in 2014...and
from the Staff at NCIS have a safe and happy
holiday season! And just remember, "...we've
been down this road once or twice before...."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today November 2013
Gettin' By on Gettin' Bys...
Helping Farmers and Ranchers: Developing Risk Management Plans
NCIS Adjuster Schools Big Success
1890 Scholarship Recipients
Ten Considerations Regarding the Role of Crop Insurance in the Agricultural Safety Net
Crop Insurance In Action
Kent A. Petersen Retires
In Memory Bill Hanson
Crop Insurance Today November 2013