MOORHEAD, Minn. — Karla Krabbenhoft flew off from agriculture once, but she is back making new tracks for the industry in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Since last November, Krabbenhoft has been regional sales manager for Global Ag Risk Solutions, a Canadian company that has been marketing crop insurance for about 10 years. In that role, she’s recruiting agents in the tri-state area.
“It’s designed to shake up the 40-year-old federal crop insurance program in the United States,” Krabbenhoft said of the product. It’s a whole-farm, revenue-based concept tailored to each individual farm and the financials of that farm, rather than county production averages and Chicago Board of Trade pricing.
Krabbenhoft described the coverage as “a bit more expensive than federal crop insurance,” but designed to cover a percentage of gross margins and 100% of seed, fertilizer and chemical costs. That comes out better for “cutting edge” farmers who are “on top of your financials, participating in the latest technology.” She said the system is set up to keep clients eligible and compliant in federal programs, including disaster programs.
She said about three-fourths of the farmers she deals with fit that mode — people who “want to leave a legacy and want future generations to keep farming.”
At age 50, Krabbenhoft is the oldest of four daughters of Victor and Linda Krabbenhoft, of Glyndon, Minn. Vic was a longtime board member and chairman of farmer-owned sugar beet processing Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, N.D. Graduating from high school in 1988, Karla wanted to come home to farm. But at the end of the 1980s farm credit crisis, Vic urged her to pick up another degree or skill.
Krabbenhoft went to the University of North Dakota in aeronautical studies, graduating in 1993. She worked in the aviation insurance industry for 20 years, flying corporate planes to clients from the Dallas, Nashville and San Francisco areas.
In 2013, Vic asked if she’d like to come home and join him in a new venture he and partners called Row Crop Solutions. Vic owned the sugar beet seed portion of the company. Karla worked with her dad for seven years until Global Ag Risk recruited her.
In her new gig, Krabbenhoft is enjoying her work challenges and spending time with her family at the lakes. She thinks farmers can thrive in the next five years, especially if commodity prices improve.
“Farmers are some of the most optimistic, hardy people on the planet,” she said.