May 24, 2017
Erin Cumings is a FarmHer passionate about agriculture. Raised in a farming family, Erin found her love early and even met her husband through her participation in FFA during her high school years. Following college at Iowa State University, Erin landed in the role of a professional FarmHer at Nationwide insurance. During her 14 year career there, Erin has continually risen up the ranks to her position today where she gets to put her knowledge of agriculture to good use as the Associate Vice President of Agribusiness Underwriting. If you’re not familiar with the insurance industry, Erin leads the team in Nationwide that makes decisions about who the company will insure. Her team focuses on farming on the eastern half of the U.S. But Erin’s love of agriculture doesn’t stop in her downtown office. It extends south, past the city limits and out to her own family farm that she operates with her husband Matthew and his parents.
I caught up with Erin during her workday at Nationwide Agribusiness in downtown Des Moines. While I was there, I watched Erin work with her colleagues to properly insure the farms and ranches that have been entrusted into their care. Having the right risk management tools in place is important for any successful business, and a farm is no different. In fact, with all of the moving parts and pieces to a farm, many of which can carry a lot of risk, I think it might even be a little more important for farms and ranches to have the right insurance products in place to provide the peace of mind of know that your operation is protected. It was clear in watching Erin work that she takes her role seriously, and in turn, is respected by her teammates and peers.
Once her work at the office was finished up, we packed up and headed south to the farm where we arrived just in time for Erin to meet her daughter Tara as she got off the school bus. Tara is just six years old, and as Erin puts it, is the reason why she and her husband are so diligent about maintaining and growing their farm. Once Erin and Tara put on their chore clothes, I followed them out to meet two bouncy little lambs out in the barn. They are raising the lambs for Tara to show in the 4-H show at their county fair. Erin grew up with lambs so adding a few to their cattle farm seemed like the right fit for her. Next up it was out to the feedlot to help Matthew get some fresh hay to the cows.
Each and every FarmHer I meet has a different role in agriculture. Some work in the professional world, some with production, and then others, like Erin, balance it all. From building a successful career where she works with and provides necessary products to farmers to the farm that she and her husband are working diligently to sustain for their daughter, Erin Cumings is FarmHer that can do it all.
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