We have the bittersweet news that our great friend and mentor Bob Parkerson is “pulling the pin” after some 40 years of leadership in the crop insurance business. The last several years were spent with ProAg as Senior VP of Government Relations.
Government relations is a never ending aspect of the crop insurance business and Bob represented ProAg and the industry with dignity and grace over the past 25 years. He literally was the face of crop insurance as he sat down during a 60 Minutes interview with the legendary Mike Wallace and defended the private sector program against the usual enemy forces.
The 2016 election year happens to present sort of a rare down time in the lobbying world as we await a new administration and a new Congress beginning in January 2017. It is also unlikely that a new Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) negotiation between USDA and the private sector will commence before late in 2017 and probably not effective before the 2019 reinsurance year. We can take nothing for granted in DC, but it would appear that the current terms of the Farm Bill will be allowed to play out as we await new faces in DC. Hence, the timing is good for Bob to work on his golf game and enjoy his good health.
Bob now resides in La Quinta, California where he and his wife Julie have spent these past few years in the desert sun. Please feel free to drop him a congratulatory retirement note at firstname.lastname@example.org. MC and ProAg thank him for his friendship and service and wish him all the best – and remember this fact – if you make a living in crop insurance, you owe a debt of gratitude to the industry giants that built the program from scratch beginning back in 1980. No one more so than Robert Parkerson…