WASHINGTON: National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) has selected Ogilvy PR to lead a campaign to educate lawmakers and members of the agricultural community on the importance of federal farm insurance funding.
Ogilvy will provide media relations and influencer outreach services to Overland Park, KS-based NCIS, specifically promoting benefits of the Crop Insurance Program, which receives private and public funding.
Ogilvy signed the six-figure, one-year deal with NCIS earlier this month after an eight-week application process in response to the organization's RFP.
Teams led by Tony Bullock and Lisa Ross, both EVPs in Ogilvy's public affairs group, began working on the account right after it was signed in February.
NCIS and Ogilvy have not yet outlined specific outreach plans, but the firm will focus on clarifying the intricacies of federal farm-insurance funding to legislators, explained Rob Mathias, Ogilvy managing director.
"It's an example of a public-private partnership that really works, but it's complex as far as how the funding works and [how] it really is an essential component of our farm economy," Mathias said. "Because it's complex, it's not readily and easily understood within the Washington framework, so our job is to work with NCIS and make sure the key constituencies, including members of congress, understand the importance of the program."
The House and Senate versions of the 2008 Farm Bill, which largely subsidizes agricultural insurance companies, have been mired in conference for weeks. About 80% of farmed US acreage is protected through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, Bullock added.
"It's simple - without it, farmers wouldn't farm, and if farmers don't have access to bank loans, they can't buy the seed and equipment they need to plant each season," he said. "Banks will not loan money to farms that do not have crop insurance."