About AgriCon

About the IRMI Emmett J Vaughan Agribusiness Conference

The IRMI Emmett J Vaughan Agribusiness Conference grew out of CalFarm training events that began in 1987.  In 1997, when the first California Agribusiness Conference was held. With the creation of the Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS®) designation in 2003, the Conference became the home for the designation—the nation’s only professional credential for specialists in farm and agribusiness insurance.  The first multipart conference was held in 2004 in California when AFIS 2 was introduced, and a conference was added in Des Moines, Iowa. All three AFIS parts were offered for the first time in 2005 in California and Des Moines. During the 2005 conferences, the first designations were conferred, and a tribute was held honoring Dr. Emmett J. Vaughan, who started the conferences. In 2012, the Agribusiness Conference celebrated its 25th anniversary, and in 2013, the conference was renamed the Emmett J Vaughan Agribusiness Conference.

The Conference has continued to grow and is now offered in multiple locations across the United States. Along the way, the certification and the Conference were turned over to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California (IIABCal). International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), acquired the AFIS program from IIABCal in August 2013 and then in 2014 acquired the Conferences. 

The Conference offers the classes that lead to obtaining and maintaining the AFIS certification, the foremost continuing education program for specialists in the agricultural and farm insurance industry. In addition, it offers more than 25 breakout sessions focused on a variety of cutting-edge topics. Virtually all the major providers of insurance services for the farm and agribusiness industries are represented at the Conferences. The Conference offers a forum where agents, brokers, underwriters, and insurance buyers can gain the expertise they need to properly insure those exposures while networking and sharing best practice ideas with peers in the industry.

About the AFIS® Certification

The Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS) certification was created in 2003 by Dr. Emmett J Vaughan in collaboration with Cheryl Koch, president of Agency Management Resource Group. The certification was created because virtually no education was available for the farm and agribusiness community apart from the Agribusiness Conference. At the Sacramento conference in 2003, the first AFIS part—Farm Property and Liability (AFIS 1)—was offered, and over 100 exams were administered.

In 2004, AFIS 2—Risk Management, Farm Auto, Workers Comp, and Umbrella Liability—was introduced in Sacramento and Des Moines. In 2005 in Sacramento, the first AFIS 3 exams were administered. There were 127 completers in the first class.

International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), acquired the certification in 2013 and in 2014 began offering an online version of the curriculum. The core curriculum for the AFIS program now consists of five parts—AFIS 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  To earn the certification, participants must successfully complete the online core courses, the course study at the Emmett J Vaughan Agribusiness Conference for each of the AFIS parts, or a combination of online andConference courses.  

About Emmett J. Vaughan

Emmett J Vaughan

A prolific writer, speaker, and consultant on insurance issues, Dr. Emmett J. Vaughan, CPCU, CLU, CPIW, was a preeminent scholar with an international reputation, writing 15 books and monographs and over 200 scholarly articles. His book Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance is a leading college textbook, now in its 11th edition. His books have been used around the world and translated into Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Serbo-Croation. In 1992, he was retained to assist in the determination of the war damages resulting from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, payable under a United National Resolution. He was frequently called upon to testify in legislative and judicial hearings on matters related to insurance, including numerous occasions in which he testified before the Congress of the United States. He also served as a special consultant to the US Department of Labor on workers compensation and health insurance issues beginning in 1992.

His teaching career began when he joined the University of Iowa in September 1963, where he subsequently became the J.E. Partington Professor of Insurance. He was instrumental in helping the university earn a distinguished reputation in the field of insurance education in the 1970s and 1980s.

In September 1987, Dr. Vaughan was inducted into the Japanese Risk Management Society, only the second American ever so honored. Vaughan's importance to the field of insurance, particularly in the state of Iowa, was acknowledged when he was inducted as a charter member of the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2003, Allied Insurance constructed a new training center at their Des Moines, Iowa, facility, which was dedicated and named in his honor.

Over the years, Dr. Vaughan inspired hundreds of students to pursue careers in the insurance industry. He mentored and trained many of the industry’s top leaders, and insurance executives throughout the nation credit Dr. Vaughan for influencing their careers. A tireless student of the industry himself, he has spent his career analyzing the significance of insurance in our society and promoting the highest level of professionalism among its practitioners.

Dr. Vaughan earned his Ph.D. in economics and insurance in 1963 and an M.A. in economics in 1962, both from the University of Nebraska. He earned his B.A. in economics from Creighton University. Dr. Vaughan held the professional designations of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).