Mike is a seventh generation farmer in Madison County where he lives with his wife, Laura and their three sons, John, Jacob and Jarrett. Mike says he always knew he wanted to be a farmer growing up, and today he not only farms but sells farm insurance, too.
We asked Mike some questions about his involvement with the Farm Bureau, and his life as an insurance agent and farmer. Here is what he had to say.
- What are some of your biggest issues when dealing with farm insurance?
“From an agent’s perspective, not enough people understand what an umbrella policy is. They tend to confuse it with a blanket, which actually insures your farm property in one lump sum amount.”
- What are some of the challenges you see facing agriculture today?
“The CAUV, Current Agricultural Use Value, is a big deal in trying to make it fair. Land prices have more than doubled, but CAUV has increased 10 fold. And also water quality. Farmers have to do the best they can to preserve the water, and defend what actions they are taking. If people came out and saw what we really do, they might better understand that we are not trying to do any harm to the water.”
- Do you have any advice you’d give to someone who is looking at farm insurance?
“People need to know what they are buying. When it comes to their quoting, make sure it is ‘apples to apples,’ meaning make sure that the coverage on each policy is the same.”
- What are some strategies you would recommend to farmers during a time of a low commodity price?
“Some may think that to save money, they can just do away with their hail policies, but the hail policy actually pays from the very first dollar you lose.” It covers 85 percent of damages done, but that means a lot of damage would need to be done to get the full coverage.”
- How long have you been involved with Farm Bureau?
“I have been a lifelong member. My father and grandfather were both members, but I became more active in the organization in the early 90s.”
- What is one of your favorite parts about volunteering with Farm Bureau?
“I like working with the kids at the Farm to City Day because one of the most important things we can do is teach people in the city what we are doing out here on the farm.”
- Why do you think it’s important to be a Farm Bureau member?
“We are an important voice in the effort to protect farmers and our interests not only in our state, but also nationally.”
Madison County is proud to have Mike a part of the board and we appreciate his hard work and dedication to Farm Bureau.