ONE OF THE Most momentous decisions our Farm Bureau board faced after the war had to do with the separation of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation from the insurance companies in 1948.
We started in 1926, you will recall, with a capitalization of ten thousand dollars, just to secure for farmers a more equitable rate for auto insurance. We grew, at first, because our volunteer sales force picked us fine risks among their farmer-neighbors. We were able to cut rates way down, so far down that insurance agents for other companies began to yell with pain in states where we were doing business.
It wasn't long before Farm Bureaus in other states were inviting us in to insure their members. Connecticut is a good example. When we went into business in Connecticut we had the sponsorship of the Connecticut Farm Bureau. Now Connecticut is a powerful insurance state in the sense that some of the great insurance companies of our country have their home offices located there. They are powerful politically as well as economically, and I doubt whether any new company could have made any headway in Connecticut had it not had the arrangement we had with the Connecticut Farm Bureau. The Bureau had a membership of ten thousand, including the state's most outstanding and successful farmers. We paid the Connecticut Bureau a sponsorship fee. Now sponsorship fees were something new in the insurance field. Not new if you thought of them as advertising costs, but new in the