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Growing our Generation: Sharing our ‘why’

Dustin and Casey Converse are editors of the Jan. 3 Growing our Generation e-newsletter, featuring insights and ideas directly from Ohio’s young farmers and food and agricultural professionals.

Hello, all! We are Dustin and Casey Converse from Richwood, located in northern Union County. We hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a great 2017! Together we have a small grain farm growing corn and soybeans – and for the first time this year – wheat! We also bale hay anjd straw and have cow/calf operation where we finish calves and sell custom freezer beef. Off the farm, Dustin is a crop insurance adjustor for ProAg Crop Insurance and a dealer with LG Seeds. I am an insurance agent/agency owner, handling auto, home, farm, business and life insurance for clients across the great state of Ohio.

Dustin’s roots in agriculture run deep. He was raised on a family farm, both sets of grandparents and many uncles and aunts farm and each of his brothers have their own operations, too. There is never a lack of topics to discuss at family dinners! While I did not grow up on a farm myself, I was exposed to the rewarding lifestyle by family and friends who were growers and producers.

Dustin and I are actively involved in our county Farm Bureau, with Dustin holding many positions over the years, currently as a trustee. We are first year members of the Young Ag Professionals Advisory Committee and are looking forward to connecting with many of you in the coming years!

Follow us:
Facebook: Casey on Facebook, Dustin on Facebook, Casey on Twitter

Risky business

“That’s just the way my Dad had it” or “I don’t know, I haven’t heard from my agent in a few years.” My favorite part of owning my agency is getting to work with farmers to protect their dreams and operations. I love to hear the stories of how each farmer got his or her start as we take a walk around the farm. Sadly, I often hear the above mentioned statements when working with clients who are not properly protected under their current plan(s).

As your farm grows and changes, your farm insurance must change, too. I see policies without pollution coverage, policies lacking coverage on hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and brand new buildings not insured all the time. We know that farming is a risky business in more ways than one. Your insurance contract is there to help you manage your risk and to keep your farm operating in the event of a loss.

As you finalize seed and chemical orders for the upcoming year and work to prep your equipment, I beg you to provide maintenance to your farm insurance, too. Sit down with your agent and discuss the changes to your farm since you last met. Have your bought or sold anything? If so, you’ll probably want to update your inventory list. Have you picked up or lost ground? How much acreage you cover contributes to the cost of your policy and you want to make sure your liability is extended to all locations. Have you added or removed livestock from your operation? It’s scary to get a call from the neighbor or sheriff that your livestock are out on the road or head to the pasture to check cattle only to find one of your cows was struck by lightning.

Thankfully, a proper plan can lessen the financial impact of these tough events. Here’s to a safe, successful and protected 2017!

Our ‘why’

Some days I wake up feeling reckless and crazy. We married young, we started our own farm, and we started a business from scratch. What were we thinking?! The days are long. We run hard, most days starting with morning chores and breakfast on the run to work and ending day with a way too late dinner thrown together and collapsing in to bed. We stress over the weather and often miss events and functions because well, you have to make hay when the sun shines. We care for sick calves’ hours on end. We overcome obstacles within the agency and work hard to ensure our employees are taken care of. When you are tired and worn down, it is easy to be frustrated and lose sight of the big picture.

It’s the way we feel when we see that calf find its spunk and romp in the pasture to find its momma. It’s when we put up the best looking and smelling alfalfa bales that we are so proud of. It’s the pride we have when we deliver boxes of beef to local families and get calls and texts about how much it is being enjoyed. It’s the fall excitement when the combine opens up a field. That’s our why. We love to see and enjoy processes from beginning to end. While we don’t wish for problems on our farm, we love that when something does happen – our world stops. Nothing else matters until that issue is resolved and we lay our heads down each night knowing we provided the best level of care to our operation as possible. We know we are not alone in this roller coaster of a journey.

Celebrate the good and the bad times, there is always something we can learn from both. Thank you, fellow young farmers!

SUBSCRIBE to receive Growing our Generation, a biweekly eletter with a different featured editor to meet each issue. Browse the archive of past issues.

This e-newsletter is brought to you by Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Ag Professionals. Learn more about Farm Bureau membership, including a discounted category for those 18-24 years old.

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Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.