ProAg President and CEO Kendall Jones has dedicated nearly three decades of her career to agriculture, helping farmers and ranchers understand and manage risk. During that time, she understood the important perspectives each person brings to a team. For her part, Jones focused her mindset on seeing what unique perspective she could bring to the industry as a coworker, peer and leader. The result? An outstanding — and award-winning career in crop insurance. ProAg is proud to announce that Kendall Jones is a recipient of the 2022 Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence, which will be presented during the 11th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit in Dallas, September 26 – 28, 2022.

Excellence in Agribusiness

Named after the Greek goddess of agriculture, the prestigious Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence is given annually to select women who have made exceptional contributions to agribusiness industries. Nominees are selected from those who have positively impacted their clients, companies, coworkers or the agribusiness industry.

“I am overwhelmed to receive this award. I find myself reflecting on Demeter and what she symbolizes for agriculture and the harvest — the work it takes and the worry over external factors influencing harvest,” said Jones. “I am honored to work with people who are committed to supporting farmers and helping them manage risk as they work to feed the world.”

In their nomination, the ProAg team noted Jones’ passion for the ag risk management business and the people she works with each day.

“Kendall Jones is passionate about growing not only the company she leads but also the crop insurance industry and the people around her,” the team said. “She is a selfless, inspirational leader. As agricultural risk management continues to evolve, Kendall’s drive to challenge the status quo allows ProAg to bring innovation to an industry that is ripe for change.”

Jones was selected for her active role in growing ProAg since joining the organization in May 2006. In addition to the president and CEO role, Jones has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

With a focus on innovation, Jones has attracted and retained the brightest talent in crop insurance while empowering ProAg employees to be decision-makers. Her customer focused strategies have helped ProAg become a prominent player in the crop insurance industry. Kendall has taken great pride in developing ProAg as an organization that “gives women the opportunity to thrive and succeed,” as one senior-level executive leader recently noted.

A career in agriculture  

After growing up around agriculture, Jones earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of South Dakota. She then began her career in the South Dakota State Budget Office, gaining a deeper understanding of how agriculture impacts economies.

After working with the state, Jones started her crop insurance career in 1995. She worked in another approved insurance provider’s finance and underwriting departments before moving to ProAg in 2006.

Since then, Jones has demonstrated leadership in multiple acquisitions and has been responsible for industry-changing initiatives, the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA), Livestock Price Reinsurance Agreement (LPRA), commercial reinsurance; and private insurance product management, implementation and maintenance at ProAg. These responsibilities include handling claims, training, and reinsurance issues; named peril and crop hail products; developing underwriting procedures and controls; and managing the company’s day-to-day operations.

A life of leadership

In addition to her role at ProAg, Jones serves on the board of directors for the Producers Ag Insurance Group and is the Chair of National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), the international industry organization for crop insurance.

“Kendall Jones has played an active role in the crop insurance industry and served in numerous leadership roles throughout her career,” said Thomas P. Zacharias, NCIS president. “Kendall is one of the most highly respected individuals in the crop insurance industry. Her professional demeanor and pursuit of inclusivity are unparalleled.”

As active supporters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Jones and her family are helping foster the next generation of leaders.

Congratulations to Kendall Jones from the entire ProAg team on such a well-deserved honor! We’re proud to recognize all she has accomplished in her career to date and look forward to a bright future.

Read the official press release here.