“Cows for a Cause” Raises Money for Local United Way


January 22, 2021

For Immediate Release

McPherson, KS –Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance employees have set a record for giving to United Way of McPherson County’s annual campaign.

The employees pledged $64,615 to the United Way, and Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance matched those pledges dollar-for-dollar for a grand total of $129,230 –an all-time record. This represents a 59% increase in giving over last year.

Farmers Alliance held a virtual campaign, as the pandemic has many of its employees working remotely. Courtney Swart, Recruiting and Development Supervisor, said they were able to have fun with the campaign, and used video to educate its employees about the needs of United Way’s non profit partner agencies. “I had a lot of employees reach out and say that the United Way campaign is their favorite event that we do,” said Swart. “FAMI employees continually come together to really make this a fun event.”

The campaign team at Farmers Alliance developed a game called “Cows for a Cause,” which involved donations to buy cows that were registered on giant “pasture” tote boards posted on Main Street outside their head quarters in McPherson. Cross-functional teams competed to buy cows each day of the campaign, and the team with the most cows at the end of the campaign got an extra day off in 2021.

A surprise element of the game was when company President and CEO Brian Lopata and Chairman of the Board Keith Birkhead posed as cattle rustlers and paid to steal cows from the pasture, which raised more money for the United Way. “That was a shocker,” said Swart.

Swart went on to say, “A lot of employees give just a huge percentage of their paycheck to United Way because they understand the needs, they see it firsthand, and they enjoy playing the game.”

United Way Co-Campaign Chair Chad Hitt said of the Farmers Alliance campaign: “FAMI is an amazing organization that has chosen to lead by example. Their willingness and dedication to help support the United Way of McPherson County and its partner agencies, especially during a pandemic, shows just how amazing they are. To have a 59% increase in giving while many employees are still working from home, shows how much Farmers Alliance and its employees care about their community.”

The United Way of McPherson County Campaign ends January 31st.