Insurance summer interns learn about farming firsthand

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance’s 24 summer interns traveled to Howard County on July 22 to visit INFB Second Vice President Isabella Chism’s family farm in Galveston, Indiana. The farm tour is an annual tradition that the team responsible for the IFBI intern program has planned for more than 10 years.

IFBI is Indiana’s largest writer of farm insurance, so the trip provides insight into one of the company’s most important client bases. Many of the interns had never been to a farm, let alone on one the size of Chism Farms, making it a great learning experience.

“In many cases, it’s an intern’s first time stepping foot on a farm, so we feel that it’s an extremely valuable experience,” said Ja’Nene Gillam, learning facilitator. “Especially since farms are such a large part of our history, mission and business.

Intern farm tour-with Chisms“We have been very privileged the last few years to be invited to Chism Farms,” she added. “By visiting a farm, the interns get to see firsthand the farm history, insurance exposures and how Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance provides farmers with expert resources to help them.”

“I was really excited to see the crops and tractors in person. Being from China, it was interesting to compare our different techniques and technology,” said intern Yijia Hao. “I learned a lot from this trip.”

During their visit, the interns learned about some of what goes into running a crop farm. Chism Farms raises corn, soybeans and sweet corn. The material presented during the visit was divided into three sections: farm technology education, a GMO overview and a farm machinery tour.  

For some, it was not their first time on a farm. Elizabeth Brown, farm training intern, is studying agriculture education at Purdue University and is pursuing minors in crop sciences and horticulture. She was a nine year 4-H member and spent four years in FFA, receiving her FFA State Degree in Illinois.

“Chism Farms does an amazing job of engaging with consumers about what they do on their farm and why they do it,” said Brown. “Touring their farm was a great experience, especially for those who don’t have an agriculture background. To see an operation up close and get information from the source instead of hearing things filtered through the media is empowering. As an intern with IFBI, it’s important to understand the passion and dedication of our farm family leadership.”

“Our family looks forward to having IFBI interns on our farm each year because it gives us the opportunity to share what we love,” said Chism. “To tell our story; what we do, how and why we do it and how we are all connected through agriculture. Most importantly I believe it helps each of us to see farming from another perspective.”