CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Richard Selover, Colusa, California

California is the nation’s number one agriculture state and has been for more than 50 years, growing more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts.  We paid a visit to Richard Selover, a farmer in Colusa, CA, a small farming community in Northern California, approximately 75 miles north of Sacramento, to find out

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Matt Fisher, Delano, California

Imagine overseeing a multi-generational family farm without crop insurance. When disaster strikes will your farm be able to financially bounce back? This possibility became a reality for one family in Delano, California. And after disaster struck, Matt Fisher said he and his family learned the true value of crop insurance. “Back in 1990-1991, our family

Crop Insurance in Action: Steve Murray, Arvin, California

Steve Murray is a fifth generation farmer in California’s Central Valley, located in Arvin, just east of Bakersfield. Murray explained that this portion of the United States is the most productive fruit and vegetable farmland in the world, as well as one of the earliest farming districts. These factors help his business, Murray Family Farms,

Crop Insurance in Action: Kenneth Kirschenmann, Shafter, California

Shafter, California is home to 17,197 people and Shafter native, Kenneth Kirschenmann, said that farming is what keeps his community economically sound. Listing just a few ways farming helps his community, Kirschenmann said, “We affect chemical companies that employ a lot of people. We affect the railroad who hauls our products to the East Coast

Crop Insurance in Action: Greg Wegis, Bakersfield, California

Greg Wegis’ great-grandfather established their multi-generational farm in the early 1900s and the have been farming in Bakersfield, California ever since. Wegis grows almonds, pistachios, tomatoes, corn, wheat, alfalfa and cherries and he plans to start growing table grapes in the near future. “I have a passion for what I do,” Wegis said. “Being raised

Crop Insurance in Action: Stanley Wilson, Shafter, California

Almost 100 years ago Stanley Wilson’s ancestors settled in Shafter, California to start their family farm. Since then, the farm has been passed down to Wilson who continues to farm to this very day with the help of his two sons, a son-in-law and several grandchildren. Their operation produces cotton, potatoes, carrots, beans, alfalfa, almonds

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: John Michael Pillow, Yazoo City, Mississippi

John Michael Pillow is a fourth generation Mississippi farmer and spent the first part of his career managing his family’s farm.  In 2011, Pillow decided to strike out on his own and become a full-time farmer. “Most of the 3,500 acres I planted that year were in corn, which is a crop whereby most of

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Craig Corbett, Soda Springs, Idaho

Craig Corbett farms malt and seed barley, along with some wheat on roughly 2,800 acres in Soda Springs, Idaho. Corbett has been farming for more than 30 years and loves what he does for a living. “It’s challenging, it seems like something new pops up every day, and it’s great being in a production-oriented business

Crop Insurance In Action: Matthew King, Delaware County, Ohio

Farming in Central Ohio, much like the rest of the traditional corn belt, tends to be a business that’s very even keel.  The soil is great and the climate is just about perfect for growing corn, soybeans and wheat.  Because of this, bushels per acres are fairly predictable from year to year. “That whole equation

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Shawn Holladay, Lamesa, Texas

Shawn Holladay, a fourth-generation cotton farmer from Dawson County, Texas, looks to agriculture as his sole source of income. It’s not a bad argument for wanting the status quo to continue. Ask one who’s been in farming for decades for his proverbial ‘staying power’ and he will likely tell you farming is a beloved legacy,

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Art Wiebelhaus, Fordyce, Nebraska

People hear a lot about crop insurance and the fact that U.S. farmers spend $4 billion out of their own pockets to purchase it every year.   One of the greatest praises of our modern crop insurance system is the customer service that farmers receive before, but perhaps more importantly after, they have a loss.   For

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Diane McDonald, Inkster, North Dakota

Diane McDonald has spent most of her life farming in North Dakota and she’s loved every minute of it. But Diane knows that farming can be a very risky business. “There are many steps that farmers can take to manage risk, like growing a wide variety of crops, rotating crops and growing cover crops to

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Klodette and Rich Stroh, Powell, Wyoming

Klodette Stroh isn’t your typical Wyoming farm girl. Klodette is an Assyrian, born in Teheran, Iran, who came to the U.S. to attend college with the goal of becoming a physician and instead wound up falling in love with Wyoming farmer, Rick Stroh. The couple began farming together in 1989, first purchasing some equipment and leasing

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Jon Whatley, Odem, Texas

Many farmers in the United States have been wedded to the soil for several generations. Jon Whatley is no different. He is a fourth-generation farmer in San Patricio County, outside Odem, Texas, and has been tilling the land since 1993. Whatley plants mainly cotton, corn and sorghum in the coastal bend of Texas on more

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Mike Quinn, Garner, North Carolina

If there’s anything the droughts of 2011 and 2012 have taught American farmers, it’s the importance of being prepared for anything. That includes occasional years of dealing with dry conditions trying to grow the Carolinas’ homegrown cotton crop. J. Michael Quinn, the president and CEO of Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative, Inc., has witnessed how both

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Danny Davis, Elk City, Oklahoma

Late in the 19th century, the Great Western Cattle Trail used to run from Texas to Dodge City, Kansas. The route passed directly over a creek that eventually became the center of Elk City, Oklahoma. This is a region of dry land farms and ranches. Two years ago, it was the epicenter of the worst

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Andrew Bowman, Oneida, Illinois

Andrew Bowman is a fifth-generation farmer from Oneida, Illinois, in the western part of the state. Bowman, who is in the family business with his father, farms 1,100 acres of corn and soybeans, although they are also looking into new crops. “But corn and soybeans are definitely our bread and butter,” says Bowman. The drought

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Matt Huie, Beeville, Texas

Bee County in the coastal bend of Texas near the Gulf of Mexico was not spared the crippling drought which struck the state with the worst dry spell in almost a century in 2011 and continued for several years. Matt Huie works on 5,000 acres of row crops plus a cow-calf operation there, and the

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Tom March, Bethlehem, Connecticut

In 1915, Thomas and Rose Marchukaitis, two Lithuanian immigrants who had been in the country for only a few years, purchased a farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut, which consisted of 114 acres and supported 15 cows and two horses. There, they raised their nine children and worked hard for their American dream. Three generations later, their

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Russ Mauch, Mooreton, North Dakota

“If you’re not a risk taker with an incredibly optimistic view of life and a deep belief in your own potential as a businessman, then you better not think about wanting to become a farmer,” says Russ Mauch, past president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association and a sugarbeet farmer . Mauch is a second-generation

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Patrick Solon, Streator, Illinois

Patrick Solon’s 1,500 acre farm in north central Illinois will celebrate its 165th year in the Solon family on May 23, 2013. The farm, located about 85 miles southwest of Chicago, has been a source of livelihood for six generations of the Solon family, growing corn and soybeans on some of the best, blackest soil

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Keith Miller, Great Bend, Kansas

Great Bend, Kansas, farmer Keith Miller looks at the big picture. Crop insurance, he declared, is not just an agricultural safety net for the farming community. It is an economic imperative. “I do feel that the general public doesn’t understand that 95 percent of all farmers are trying to do the right thing,” he said.

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Bing Von Bergen, Moccasin, Montana

Bing Von Bergen is not only the president and acting CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, he’s a third-generation Montana wheat farmer who has seen all kinds of weather over the years. “Last year, parts of the nation had the worst drought since the ‘Dirty 30s,” he said, recalling the name given the

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Marvin Jensen, Kensington, Minnesota

Local legend has it that a group of Vikings happened upon this part of west-central Minnesota in 1362 and left runic inscriptions on a piece of stone. Hundreds of years later, a local farmer found the stone, and the discovery has forever added an air of mystique to the town on Kensington, Minnesota, and the

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Bill Bridgeforth, Tanner, Alabama

“In a typical year, with five different crops in the ground, it seems like we farm all the time,” said Bill Bridgeforth, a fourth generation farmer from Tanner, Alabama, in the state’s northeast corner. Bridgeforth farms 10,000 acres of cotton, corn, soybeans and canola with his brother Gregory and their sons. “I’ve always wanted to

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Trent Patterson, Lake County, Tennessee

For Trent Patterson, 2012 was a very dry year. Drought parched much of Tennessee, where he farms about 4,500 acres planted to cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat. The drought forced farmers like Patterson to switch crops from the flagship cotton to soybeans, which requires less agricultural inputs. With crop insurance as part of most farmers’

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Paul Penner, Hillsboro, Kansas

In 2012, the drought in Kansas was in its second year, and wheat, corn and soybean farmer Paul Penner was just trying to survive to the next season. Crop insurance has been Penner’s lifeline for the last two years and the years before that. It has given him and his wife, Deborah, the means and

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Tom & Mike Audet, Orwell, Vermont

Ledge Haven Farm might be one of those Vermont farms that would be most likely to end up on a postcard. The place is just about everything you would think of when you put the words Vermont and agriculture together. The 550-acre farm, owned by brothers Tom and Mike Audet, is a family-run dairy and

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Jimmy Miller, Interlachen, Florida

For centuries, blueberries were gathered from the dense forests and bogs by Northeastern U.S. Native Americans, and are one of the only fruits we consume that are native to North America. So when most of us hear about blueberry farms, we conjure up images of cool, damp climates and cold winters. Except on Jimmy Miller’s

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Andy Bell, Climax, Georgia

On the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, you can chase a greased pig in the southwestern Georgia town of Climax as it celebrates its Swine Time Festival, which normally draws up to 30,000 people in an area where only 300 people live. There is also corn shucking and a squeal-off. Climax is the highest point on

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Bob and Mike Buntin, Thompsonville, Illinois

The choices Illinois farmers faced in the past when drought struck the Midwest were unpleasant all around. They could borrow money from family, drain their hard-earned savings or go under. In the last decade, crop insurance has made it possible for brothers Robert (Bob) and Michael Buntin, owners of Buntin Bros., Inc. in Thompsonville, to

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, Kansas

On land where wheat stalks heavy with grain would normally wave on a breeze in the late summer, the searing drought of 2012 zapped nearly every inch of land across the Kansas plains, leaving it burnt and lifeless. There was no way to hide from the drought in the Grain Belt. Just one year after

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Todd & Ty Williams

Todd and Ty Williams grew up on their family’s farm near Gruver, Texas, a town of about 1,100 people in the panhandle region. Todd Williams says he’s been driving a tractor since he was about seven years old, so it was just the natural course of events that he and his brother Ty would end

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Whitney Blodgett, Shoreham, Vermont

Whitney Blodgett has been farming in the family’s Vermont apple orchard, commercially known as “Sentinel Pine Orchard,” his whole life. Blodgett says that the family purchased the orchard in 1964, and have since grown, adding the abandoned dairy farm next door. Sentinel Pine Orchard, is comprised of 220 acres of apple trees, mostly planted in

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Mike Garavaglia, Vero Beach, Florida

Florida accounts for roughly 70 percent of the U.S. annual production of citrus, of which the vast majority goes into processing, mostly for orange juice. Citrus is big business in the Sunshine State, and Mike Garavaglia is one of Florida’s many citrus growers who make their living putting fresh citrus on the tables of America’s

CROP INSURANCE IN ACTION: Cash Ruane, North Clarendon, Vermont

It’s perhaps no great coincidence that Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded in Burlington, Vermont, given that dairy is the Green Mountain State’s largest agriculture industry. Cash Ruane, from North Clarendon, Vermont, is one of those Vermont dairy farmers. Cash has been farming his whole life, starting his own farming business with his beloved