Ottawa County Ohio tornado damage 2023

On the evening of Thursday, June 15, 2023 seven tornadoes swept across northwest Ohio causing damage to many community members’ property, including the president and vice president of the local county Farm Bureau.

Samantha and Sheldon Miller
Samantha and Sheldon Miller

Ottawa County Farm Bureau Vice President Sheldon Miller and his family took shelter, but equipment, buildings and seven of their daughter’s 14 chickens were lost in the tornado. The family’s home was also declared a total loss. Thankfully, no one was injured in the storms.

Almost immediately the community rallied around residents in the damaged area to help.
“All of a sudden people started showing up,” Miller said. “Everybody was working together to get the house sealed up. Our barn was completely gone.”

Dean Schiller, the president of Ottawa County Farm Bureau, had several hundred cattle scatter after the storm, which Miller helped round up after fixing a busted tire on his four-wheeler.

“There were people coming from everywhere, livestock trailers everywhere, to come and help our local community,” Miller said. Insurance agent Randy Troike of Yanak Insurance Group wasn’t far behind. The group is an Ohio Farm Bureau Select Partner.

“One of my biggest worries is to have something happen and not be able to be covered,” Miller said. “We honestly never believed anything like this would happen, but I’m positive we’re going to have very good coverage on everything. Whatever it is, they are more than willing to work with me.”

Miller had peak season coverage during planting season through Nationwide, which is the insurance carrier for all his farming needs.

The coverage enabled him to replace items that were lost but may have not otherwise been covered, such as costs for fertilizer and seed. Nationwide’s custom farm coverage peak season endorsement provides inventory protection for those times of year when farmers have more product stored on their property – such as planting and harvesting seasons.

Troike has been working with Miller for many years. He recalled a few years ago when a very wet spring kept crops from being planted for weeks. Miller extended his peak season coverage to July 1 back then, Troike said. That coverage was critical again to helping the Millers recover after the storm in June. The relationship the two have established over the years is key.

“Sheldon is an exception to a lot of farmers,” Troike said. “He is in contact with me and I am responsive to him.”

Troike knows when the Millers buy new equipment or possibly have a need for additional coverage, because they have an ongoing dialogue that isn’t contained to once or twice a year at renewal times.

“Having that relationship is very important,” Troike said. “Communication goes both ways.”

Ohio Farm Bureau Select Partners program

Working with an insurance agent and financial advisory who understands agriculture, who is familiar with the challenges you face everyday and can offer options based on your specific needs not only saves you time, but gives you the solutions you need to ensure your business is successful.

The Ohio Farm Bureau Select Partners program offers you the comfort of knowing the agency and financial advisor will be your valued partner. By adhering to the Select Partners Pledge, you can be confident that participating agencies are committed to the industry and the best solutions on the market.

Online extra

Ottawa County Farm Bureau Members Receive Support after Tornadoes Cause Damage to Farms

Photos by Kirsten Kemner

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Mandy Way

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Matt Aultman

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