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Jarrod Yates named to Farm Bureau post

By Dale Gathright, Jr., 08/24/21 11:07 AM

LITTLE ROCK – Jarrod Yates has been hired as director of public affairs and government relations at the Arkansas Farm Bureau, where he will lead the national affairs efforts on behalf of the state’s largest agricultural advocacy organization. He will lobby the state’s Congressional delegation and assist in executing the political and legislative strategies defined by the roughly 190,000-member organization.

An Arkansas native, Yates was born in Fayetteville, though raised in Prescott, which he considers his hometown. Yates and his family have farmed most of his life. He currently has a cattle operation together with his father and brother in Nevada County and they were previously involved in the poultry business.

A former chief of staff for Congressman Mike Ross, Yates, 40, has spent the past seven years helping lead governmental relations at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurance provider.

Yates spent four years as Ross’s chief of staff, simultaneously managing five offices and staff in Washington, D.C. and in the Fourth Congressional District.

“Jarrod brings a great understanding of Arkansas agriculture and the political landscape in Arkansas and Washington, D.C.,” said Stanley Hill, vice president of public affairs and government relations at Arkansas Farm Bureau. “Jarrod comes highly recommended and is very well respected at our State Capitol and in Washington, D.C., and he will be a great addition to our staff.”

Yates has a daughter who is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and son who is a freshman at Little Rock Catholic High.

Arkansas Farm Bureau and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield have a lengthy history. ArFB, along with the Arkansas Medical Society and Arkansas Hospital Association, loaned the initial capital to organize Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1948. Today, ArFB insurance agents sell Blue Cross health insurance plans in all 75 counties.