Topeka, Kan.,
11:19 AM

Put ‘Em Up

Knocking out the competition and putting food on shelves.

Jamie Hornbaker has the canned goods in her corner. The Topeka, Kan., State Farm® agent is putting up a fight to be crowned the champion of insurance agents competing to donate the most food to Project Topeka.

Jamie is entering the ring with Farm Bureau Financial Services Agent Derrick Hodam to encourage more donations to the nonprofit that fills the shelves of seven local food banks in the Topeka area.

“Every year, Project Topeka does a February food drive launch because the shelves are depleted after the holidays,” Jamie, who is the food drive campaign chair for Project Topeka, says. “They were looking at doing things differently this year and wanted someone to be a community cheerleader. That’s where I come in.”

Jamie brainstormed how she could make the food drive bigger and better. What better way to do that than turn it into a competition? Insurance agent versus insurance agent.

“Let’s put our competitor right up there next to us,” Jamie says. “Why not? It benefits the local economy. We employ people in the community, sponsor local Little League teams and promote food drives. What could we do to bring more to Project Topeka?” she asks. “Let’s do something funny and fun. I wanted to do an agent face-off – Farm vs. Farm. Two community members. It all came together perfectly.”

Her rival, Derrick, was on-board from the start. The two agents made a video promoting the face-off. Imagine this: two insurance agents getting ready to rumble, throwing it all down for a chance to win the glory of donating the most food and money to Project Topeka.

“The more reach we can get, the more we can educate on hunger and how it affects children and the elderly,” Jamie says. “We all win, and that’s important. If somebody calls me about insurance because of the video, that’s a win for me, too, but not the goal.”

At the food drive kickoff event, Jamie began by talking about the barrels located in the community to drop off food. Then she pretended the two agents didn’t have the whole competition planned and called Derrick out in front of everyone.

“I said, ‘Aren’t you an insurance agent for the Farm Bureau? Derrick, I’m going to call you out.’ People in the audience gasped, and then we played the video and everyone started laughing,” Jamie says.

Jamie likes having fun, but she likes promoting good causes even more.

“I want to do these things in our community because it makes my heart happy. Being out there and helping the community helps me become better known as an agent, too,” she says. “Being involved in local nonprofits is a way to have an impact. We like to win, have fun and be involved. I like being part of this community.”

Jamie and Derrick are going into Round Two of their battle, which will end April 30.

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