3 Tips to Sleep Better and 3 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Do

3 Tips to Sleep Better and 3 Reasons You’ll Be Glad You Do

Farming is known for being an around-the-clock job. With early mornings, time-sensitive work, and hours of manual labor, quality rest is necessary to complete work efficiently and safely. From losing focus at the wheel to drifting attention when operating heavy machinery, there have been too many times where I’ve seen a lack of sleep lead a hardworking farmer to a harmful and threatening situation. 

Apart from avoiding the many downsides of not getting enough good sleep, there are real, tangible benefits to improving your sleep habits.

3 Ways Better Sleep Can Benefit You and Your Crops:

1. Sleep can improve your concentration and productivity. Being well-rested can help you stay focused during the day and get more done in a shorter amount of time. 

2. Good sleep can improve your physical performance. If you are spending hours harvesting crops or working with livestock, being physically alert is necessary to work efficiently.

3. Sleep supports immune health and keeps you from getting sick. As a small business owner, getting sick is not an option for me because I can rarely afford to take time off–I’m sure you can relate. Take precautions and get your rest before it’s forced upon you by illness.

The list of good sleep benefits goes on! Check out some more benefits of relaxing your mind getting better sleep here

As an independent crop insurance agent, my number one priority is the well-being of my farmers and their crops. My goal is to help my farmers sleep better by knowing they have protection from causes outside their control. I believe in the power of a good night’s rest to help my farmers do their work to the best of their ability. While I’m not a doctor, over the years, I’ve come by a few helpful tricks to sleep better each night, and I hope they’ll help you too.

3 Tips and Tricks to Sleep Better:

1. Keep a stable sleep pattern regardless of weeknight or weekend night. As farming often doesn’t stop on the weekends, I’ve found this is often an easier trick for my farmers, but a reminder to keep to a schedule and support your body’s internal clock is always helpful.

2. Limit your caffeine and alcohol at night. This one can be tricky, especially on the weekends. Letting yourself cheat every once in a while is okay. However, if you know you have a long day of driving heavy machinery ahead of you or working with potentially dangerous tools, take a break from your favorite beverages. Doing so can help you keep your brain from becoming overstimulated and having a restless night. 

3. Take a break from technology. Avoid looking at emails and social media before bed. Not only can the bright screens interrupt your sleep patterns, but often the content you’re consuming, whether it’s work-related or not, can increase anxiety and make your mind more active when you are winding down. Save those things for the morning.

“Normal sleep” is different for everyone. Find out what other practices can help you sleep better at night and feel well-rested in the morning here.

Bonus tip! If you worry about your crops being damaged by unforeseen disasters, make sure you have a good insurance plan in place. This anxiety can be a major factor in your sleep whether you realize it or not!

If you are looking to rest easy knowing that all your hard work and investment (your crop) is safe, get in touch with us today to learn how we can help!

Foust Prater, Lisa. “The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation.” SuccessfulFarming, SuccessfulFarming, 27 Dec. 2019, www.agriculture.com/family/health-safety/the-dangers-of-sleep-deprivation.

Covid and Cows: The Pandemic’s Impacts on the Dairy Industry

Covid and Cows: The Pandemic’s Impacts on the Dairy Industry

Working in insurance has been a lesson in preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. I want my farmers to find success and get the most out of their yield, regardless of what nature throws their way. Covid-19 was the impact none of us saw coming and another lesson on what it means to prepare for the worst. As the pandemic began, I quickly noticed its effects on farming within the dairy industry. Dairy farming needs to move fast due to the nature of the product, but labor shortages and low demand stopped farmers in their tracks. All of my farmers had to adjust for the pandemic, but impacts on the dairy industry came quickly and hard.

Here’s how the pandemic was able to impact the multi billion-dollar industry:

Schools, restaurants, and hotels shut down during the pandemic, and major dairy clients no longer needed dairy products. Unlike other farmers that can freeze or store their yield, milk can only be stored in a cold silo or vat for up to 48 hours before it must be moved to the next facility to be pasteurized and homogenized. The brief shelf life and perishable nature of the product led dairy farmers to lose profits on large amounts of their yield. While other farming industries, such as meat, could not keep up with demand during the pandemic as shoppers frantically purchased large quantities to freeze for the uncertain months ahead, the short shelf life of most dairy products negatively impacted consumer demand. With fewer workers and initially lower demand, milk was spoiled and dumped.

As sales shifted from schools and restaurants to larger purchases from retailers, packaging and distribution problems arose. Demand for employment in shipping grew across the board with the pandemic, and like many industries, dairy did not have enough people to ship the amount of product they had to send to retailers. Even as demand grew for retailers, the inability to efficiently distribute the time-sensitive product resulted in more milk dumped. Supply chain difficulties ultimately led to increased production costs. 

If I have learned anything from Covid-19, it’s that you can never be too prepared. Take action to protect your assets before you even see a problem because you never know what might happen and how it will affect you. 

Whether your crop could face a loss of labor or markets or impacts on yield, a crop insurance agent can help you decide what insurance is best for your needs. Don’t grow restless over what could happen. We are here to make sure you get the highest return possible and help you sleep better at night! Contact us today to see how you can protect your crops from the unforeseeable. 

5 Ways We Build Trust With Farmers

5 Ways We Build Trust With Farmers

Trust is a deeply important part of our business. Every sales agent in every industry knows this. But building trust is a little different with farmers. They will not give you the time of day until they trust you. It could take a year, two years, maybe even five years. Many agents won’t keep at it year after year–we will. Building trust is a must.

Here are the 5 ways we build trust with farmers:

1. Know your products. Know them inside and out. You can fake confidence; you can’t fake knowledge. And don’t just know your products as an industry insider, but know how to explain them to a customer who is coming to you with their livelihood and is scared they’re going to be swindled. Know how to describe your product in their language and figure out ways to show how it’ll benefit their farm.

2. Respond promptly.Time is money, so don’t waste your farmer’s time. If you miss a call or an email, get back to them right away, especially if your farmer has questions. The quicker you get back to them, the more they’ll learn you care about their questions. If you consistently offer instant feedback, you’ll build trust.

3. Branch out. You build trust by letting farmers know about programs that are beneficial to them, even if it’s not a program you offer. It’s the old philosophy from “Miracle on 34th Street” (one of my favorite Christmas movies), but it still rings true . . . and it works. Do what’s best for your clients by finding them deals and discounts offered by other organizations.

4. Visit in person.Go out and see them face to face. It lets them know you care about them, not just the money they make. Some farmers have insurance agents they only know by mail or phone. You can grow comfortable in a relationship like that, but you’re not building trust. Typically, I try to visit my farmers at least once a year. Even though I live in Michigan, I have a farmer in Pennsylvania I see about three times a year. There’s no excuse to never visit your clients.

5. Never say “there’s nothing I can do.”Get that phrase out of your head. As an experienced sales agent, I’ve been trained my whole life to never say the sentence “there’s nothing I can do.” I’ve gotten so many new farmers who’ve left agents that told them that phrase. Yes, there may come a time when you can’t deliver the precise expectation your farmer is demanding, but that still doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. You can give that farmer options for what they can do next time, or you can help them figure out a new plan, or you can call the insurance company and let them listen to the call. You can’t always do everything, but you should never say you’ll do nothing.

At the end of the day, it’s always about the farmer. Like any business, if you’re in business just to make money, you won’t be in business for long, nor should you be. If you’re trying to sell to make a client’s life better, you’ll be successful, and the farmers of our country will be better off.

How Crop Hail Insurance Saved an Ohio Apple Farmer from Ruin

How Crop Hail Insurance Saved an Ohio Apple Farmer from Ruin

I hear it all the time: “Why bother spending money on crop hail insurance I might never need to use?”

Let me answer that question with a little real-life story, a parable about why crop hail insurance matters.

About five years ago, I met a new client, a nice young guy who was just starting out as a farmer. He had a beautiful apple orchard in Ohio. Over the years, we kept bumping into each other at trade shows, until one year he finally asked me to help him with insurance. He’d never had farming insurance ever, not once in his life, you see, and his county didn’t qualify for multi-peril insurance. So, I signed him up and got him crop hail insurance to keep his apples safe just in case disaster ever hit.

And then it did.

Only a few months after he signed, that nice young farmer was smashed by the mother of all hail storms. The storm wiped him out, completely destroying his orchard. It was a 100 % loss. To a new farmer, a total loss can be career-ending. Thankfully, he’d been responsible and gotten hail insurance. His crop hail insurance bill was only $800. His savings ended up being $30,000. Not only was he able to survive that year, but the crop hail insurance enabled him to keep enough money to pay for all the fertilizer, chemicals, and labor he needed to farm again the next year.

Crop hail insurance literally saved that young farmer’s livelihood.

The storms will come. All experienced farmers know this. It’s not a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.” And the farmers who survive are the ones who prepare.

<p”>So, prepare by insuring your crops and your farm, because you never know what year your storm will come. Crop hail insurance covers a lot more than just hail and can be a great option particularly in counties where multi-peril insurance is not available.</p”>

Contact us today to hear more real-life stories like this one and work with one of our independent agents to determine the best insurance plan for your business.

A Crop Insurance Agent’s 6 Favorite Quotes About Farmers and Money

A Crop Insurance Agent’s 6 Favorite Quotes About Farmers and Money

As a crop insurance agent, I’ve come to understand much about farmers and their relationship with money.

We all have favorite quotes, little sayings and nuggets of wisdom that are easy to write down and easier to remember. The following quotes are my 6 favorite quotes when it comes to farming and money. I don’t remember where I first read or heard these quotes, sometime during my many years as a crop insurance agent, but I stand by all of them as solid pieces of advice to think on and live by. Enjoy!

Farming is like going to a casino every day.

There’s casinos near a lot of my farmers. Gambling comes easy to many farmers because farming itself is like gambling. There’s odds, bets, risks, and the house always wins. You don’t always know what the weather or soil will do. You’re gambling everyday of your life. That’s why insurance is so important.

I never heard of anyone losing their farm paying for crop insurance.

Sadly, I’ve heard of people losing their farms because they didn’t have crop insurance. But over the years, I still hear many farmers say “I can’t afford the insurance.” Well, if you can’t afford insurance, then you can’t affordnot to have insurance. It makes sense that if you plant even just 100 acres and something goes wrong, you’re potentially looking at a $100,000 loss. Can you afford a $100,000 loss?

Insurance is like a parachute. If you don’t have it the first time, chances are you won’t be needing it again.

This quote is pretty self-explanatory. That’s why I like it so much. I’ve never gone skydiving, but if I did, you can bet I’d be jumping with a parachute–and someone who knows what they’re doing. Unforeseen disasters have ruined farmers for life. Don’t jump without a parachute!

The number one reason farmers purchase crop insurance is to sleep better at night.

Farmers work hard. Their bodies need (and deserve) at least 8 solid hours of sleep every night. And knowing that your home, livelihood, and family are protected is one of the best kinds of sleeping pills there is. Those Restless nights of lying away wondering how you’ll make ends meet go away when you know the worst-case scenario can’t hurt you.

A bad day in the field is better than a good day in the office.

Farmers are a different breed. There’s something about the personalities of those who work on a farm that just live for the outdoors. They’d rather be out in the fresh air and sunlight fixing a tractor or planting corn than be cooped up in a cubicle all day. You can’t beat working in nature. And few will ever know that joy like a farmer.

It isn’t the farm that makes the farmer. It’s the love, hard work, and character.

I love farmers. They work hard and they love what they do. There’s a nature in them that says, “If I want more, I’ll work more. It won’t be given to me.” It’s a noble profession, and I believe everyone should work on a farm once in their life. If you want to build character, build a farm.

4 Weather Apps For Farmers That’ll Blow You Away

4 Weather Apps For Farmers That’ll Blow You Away

4 weather apps for farmers that’ll blow you away

If there’s any job where success heavily relies on accurate weather forecasting, it’s definitely being a farmer.

Farmers survive by their ability to predict weather elements like rain, moisture, hail, heat, storms, and more. Their crops, livestock, and livelihood all rely on whatever the sky brings them on a daily basis. That’s why reliable weather apps are so important. Today’s farmers have access to history’s best forecast technology simply by touching an icon on their phones, allowing them to irrigate smarter, prep for storms, and anticipate crop durability.

There’s currently an overwhelming amount of weather apps for you to pick from on your smartphone, but we’ve weeded through the app store and boiled it down to just four we think you’ll find handy:

1. MyRadar

One of the best and most downloaded weather apps, MyRadar is free and gives a farmer pretty much everything you’d want in a weather app. It displays live weather radar for your position anywhere on the planet, with radar look lengths for up to two hours, allowing you to see what weather is headed your way. You can also set up alerts for upcoming weather events, offering details on the weather’s intensity and duration. That includes data like jetstreams, pressure systems, seismic activity, hail, and wildfires. if you could only pick one, this is likely your best pick.

2. NOAA Weather Radar Live

An all-in-one weather tracker that’ll show you details like a 24-hour and 7-day forecast, as well as readings for high and low temperatures, precipitation chances, hail, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and dew point. It’s highly accurate and has a large amount of extra features for anyone interested in the more scientific side of meteorology. It’s also free and has strong reviews.

3. Windy

Windy is a customizable weather app that offers a beautiful visual representation of wind and weather patterns, perfect for tracking storms, rain, hail, hurricanes, and – as its name suggests – wind speed and direction. It’s very popular with pilots, boaters, fishing crews, paragliders, skydivers, and even military/rescue personnel.

Bonus App: Carrot Weather

This is a weather app that’s, well, fun. Sure, Carrot offers you your basic weather tracking tech (it uses weather data from respected sources like Dark Sky, AccuWeather, adn ClimaCell), but it also allows you to configure the app with different personalities, some of which are very funny. It won the “Apple’s Editors’ Choice” award, has extremely positive reviews, and best of all, it’s free.

Weather apps help farmers prepare, but insurance is the only way to truly be ready for whatever conditions Mother Nature throws your way. As experts on hail insurance and specific types of insurance for farmers and ranchers, we help you understand and choose the insurance products that will allow you to sleep better at night.