Brett Anderson walked the rows on his Michigan farm and inspected a strong crop of apples. He grabbed one and looked closer at a small indentation with an eye informed by 100 years of family experience.
The little indentation probably won’t mean much by harvest. Brett has seen hailstorms that beat and bruised his apples to the point where the value dropped to a quarter of what this crop may bring.
“Thankfully, this year we’ve been really blessed,” he said.
Brett’s family farm is just one of approximately two million farms in the United States. On National Farmer’s Day, we celebrate the incredible contributions of American farmers, just like Brett, and the important work that they do to feed, clothe, and fuel our nation.
Each of America’s two million farms is unique, requiring a personalized risk management tool. Thankfully, crop insurance allows America’s farmers and ranchers to create a risk management plan tailored to their needs. Crop insurance insures farms in all 50 states.
“Crop insurance has become so vital…no matter what happens in this coming crop season, I will have the ability to pay my bills, to keep my workers employed, and to be able to continue this this family farm that has been here for over 100 years,” Brett told National Crop Insurance Services on a recent trip to Michigan.
Brett was just one of several farms that we visited to capture the Real Stories of America’s farmers and crop insurance agent and adjusters.
Shelly Hartmann enjoyed a handful of ripe blueberries while inspecting the bushes on her farm.
“The thing I love about blueberries is that, you know, it’s nature’s perfect fruit. There’s no waste, it’s 100 percent consumable,” she said.
Shelly believes Congress should maintain crop insurance as an affordable and available risk management tool in the next Farm Bill. She relies on it at her farm. “Crop insurance is really a big tool that we use here to help us offset any unexpected weather events, production losses, market loss as well,” she said.
Vegetable farmer Travis Horkey pulled the tractor forward as his crew harvested big green bell peppers, loading them bucket by bucket into the cart. Crop insurance is an important tool in helping him with the challenges of farming.
“You never know what’s going to come at us,” Travis said. “We could have a drought all spring and summer followed by a flood in the fall just before harvest. And that would be devastating to our business and also affect our employees and our customers, our suppliers, our community.”
“I like the seasonality of farming,” he continued. “I like the challenge of just bringing all the ends together and getting the job done.”
To farmers from Michigan to Mississippi, Maine to Montana, and every state in between: thank you for getting the job done, every single day.