Growing up in a small, rural community centered around the agricultural economy has been a critical experience in my development as an insurance agent. The adventures of working cattle, detasseling corn, running pipe for crop irrigation, cutting thistles out of pastureland, and even just watching the farm machinery working in the fields has shaped my work ethic and desire to continue helping farming operations in order to keep those experiences alive for the next generation.
We moved to the farm where my parents currently live when I was in kindergarten. One of our first pets on the farm was a milk cow from one neighbor and three sows from another neighbor. These “welcome to the neighborhood” gifts were received graciously and helped kick off the start to our own farm life. This grew into membership in the local 4-H club, where I learned to care for and show our hogs and cattle properly. However, my favorite part was receiving a check from a farmer who purchased my animal at the end of the fair, not for the money, but for the feeling of your hard work being acknowledged and appreciated by farmers you respected.
I have many memories, some great and some not so great, of chasing cattle that escaped their pasture. It was a challenging learning experience when you hear those words, “stand there and waive your arms! The cows are more scared of you and will go the other way!” when you are the last line of defense in ushering the cattle back inside their fenced area. I will never forget the squealing of the little piglets as they fought each other during feeding time or the sound of the feeder bin lids slamming shut as the older hogs were feeding on the grain. As loud as those hogs were, I was always amazed by the fact that they could wallow in the mud (we won’t talk about what was IN that mud) and then didn’t have to shower or clean up after.
When my insurance career started, I knew I wanted to use my farm experience to help others protect their livelihood in the ag community. This dream led me to achieving an Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist designation to further my knowledge of the insurance products that farmers can use to protect their businesses.
When I was offered the Director position to start Farm Shield, it was a decision that was not taken lightly. I knew that the Farm Credit system had an excellent reputation for helping the farming community, which was further enhanced by meeting the team at Alabama Farm Credit. The Farm Credit family has welcomed me with open arms, and I am very excited about the opportunity to start the process of helping our clients with their risk protection program. I am also honored that Steve has trusted Alabama Farm Credit and our team at Farm Shield to continue the legacy that he started.
Moving into the future, we will continue the excellent customer service that the clients have come to expect and build the relationships to make this venture beneficial to all involved. Whether those conversations happen at the tailgate of a truck or across the kitchen table, we will work with you to help protect your livelihood!Nathan Kinnaman
Director of Insurance