Our Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors meeting just wrapped up after a few days. This was my second meeting, and it was highly productive, as they always seem to be. I heard a lot of comments from board members about the level of service you are providing our customers, partners, and other stakeholders. I am so proud of the hard work that I see taking place in so many areas of our agency.

Many of you work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our mission is met. I want to recognize one group from Kansas City that has shown uncommon dedication to working with our partners, Approved Insurance Providers, and our farmer and rancher customers that we support.

For the last two years, Dena Prindle, Luis Orozco, and Brett Hinspeter from our Product Management, Financial Oversight and Debt Management Branch have been going into the office on a weekly basis to ensure continuity with some of our time sensitive functions surrounding farmer and rancher’s eligibility in the Federal crop insurance program. These three individuals attended to letters and checks from producers, facilitated producers’ requests for Late Payment of Debt reinstatement, and mailed hundreds of notifications to producers informing them of their eligibility reinstatement and continuous coverage in our risk management programs.

I talked to Dena and Luis recently to find out more about their efforts to keep our mission and customer service strong through a time of unprecedented challenge.

Marcia: I’ve heard about the great things you are doing to meet necessary requirements throughout the Pandemic. Tell us more specifically about the tasks you have carried out.
Dena: The team reports to the Beacon building on a weekly basis to ensure continuity with some of our time sensitive functions such as ensuring checks received from farmers and ranchers are processed and deposited, which oftentimes impacts their crop insurance eligibility status, as well as responding to producer’s letters and requests for Federal crop insurance reinstatement. We have been able to overhaul and streamline our manual letter processing to an electronic process with printing and mail support. This has led to a reduction in the time and costs associated with our processing of letter notifications.

RMA Financial Oversight and Debt Management Branch
(L to R) Dena Prindle, Luis Orozco and Brett Hinspeter

Marcia: Well, there’s no doubt that these are essential tasks and as important as it gets where our mission is concerned.
Dena: The work of this team is crucial in helping farmers and ranchers regain eligibility for the Federal crop insurance program. We have a dedicated phone line that producers can reach out with any question regarding a debt or eligibility. It is a great feeling to be able to help the farmers and ranchers that rely on the Federal crop insurance program.
Luis: Also, by having a direct line of communication with these producers, we hear about their stories and struggles and how crop insurance is essential for most producers to keep their farming operations running.

Marcia: So, it seems the challenges of COVID were a catalyst for new systems to improve customer service.
Luis: The famous phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” applies here. We had to find a way to automate our letter generation process and streamline our check deposits process, so collaboration was the key here. We worked closely with other teams within RMA, the mailroom, and our IT support, who were crucial in helping us with these tasks.

Both Dena and Luis told me they their work is fulfilling because they see the difference that the crop insurance program makes in the lives of the producers we serve. Their team has processed nearly 1,300 requests for administrator authorized reinstatement. Without their efforts these producers would not have been able to stay in the crop insurance program.

I send a huge “Thank You” to Product Management, Financial Oversight and Debt Management Branch, for their extraordinary achievements.

– Marcia