Grains of Knowledge

Celebrate National Agriculture Day on March 8, 2012

Welcome to 2012 National Agriculture Week! Thursday, March 8 is officially dubbed National Agriculture Day, and was selected by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture. Even though the national recognition is held once a year, the ACA works every day to expand awareness and appreciation of the essential role agriculture plays in American society.  Since 1973, the ACA has worked to promote education and advancement of our country’s agriculture industry. At the root of the National Ag Day program, the ACA works to promote the following among Americans: Understand how […]

Ag-LINK – What Ohio Farmers Need to Know!

The State Treasurer’s office has a strong and rich 27 year tradition of working with Ohio’s farmer and lenders to offer an interest rate reduction on their loans and lines of credit.  In continuing this effort, we are proud to announce the beginning of the 2012 Agricultural Linked Deposit Program (Ag-LINK) application period which began on Thursday, January 19, 2012 and will end on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM.  Agriculture is a vital component of Ohio’s economy, so much so that the industry employs one in seven Ohioans and pumps $98 billion into the state’s economy each year.  […]

A View from the West – Part 2!

As a follow up to our initial post of our interview with Parker Haviland, of LeBaron and Carroll, an independent agency out of Mesa, Arizona, here is part two of our interview.

Parker shared information about his background and excitement about the agribusiness and farming niche. We also asked Parker how he manages to stay informed about key issues and topics important to his customers.

Agribusiness News – Week of February 13, 2012

2011 Crop Insurance Claims Payments Could Impact Regional Insurers National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) says indemnity payments surpassed $9 billion for the first time in history in 2011, and Moody’s Investors Service says this development could put smaller, geographically concentrated insurers at risk. NCIS cites historic droughts in the Plains, flooding along the Mississippi River and deep freezes in the South for the $9.1 billion in payments, and says the figure could grow to $10 billion as remaining claims are settled. Tom Zacharias, president of NCIS, says in a statement, “Thanks to the foresight of Congress, crop insurance has been […]

The Annual Pork Congress Delivers Again!

This year, the Ohio Professional Pork Producers Symposium was held in Columbus, Ohio. This event was sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, Pork Checkoff,, and the Ohio Pork Producers Council and was attended by many, including team members from Westfield Insurance Agribusiness Division.

A view from the West…Agency Spotlight

For this blog post, the Westfield Agribusiness team is pleased to share this agency spotlight. While visiting sunny Arizona a few weeks ago, our team was fortunate to meet with one of our agents, Parker Haviland. He is with LeBaron & Carrol, LLC, Agribusiness Division, in Mesa, AZ. This is the first in a two-part discussion with him about the agribusiness niche, his background, and more.

Craftsman Makes Auto Show History with Introduction of CTX Tractor

For more than a century, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)has been the annual stage for companies to announce and display the latest in automotive design and technology. From hybrid sedans to million-dollar sports cars, the NAIAS showcases the who’s who of auto innovation and sales. This year, Craftsman will set a new precedent by introducing the first ever tractor to the NAIAS in Detroit — yes, that’s right, a tractor. The Craftsman CTX 9500 tractor is the first of its kind to make an appearance, and will be among more than 40 vehicle introductions made at this year’s […]

Agribusiness News – Week of January 16, 2012

USDA Tightens Spending Belt Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made a bold move this week when he recognized that USDA, like families and businesses across the country, cannot continue to operate like it did 50 years ago. In doing so, he announced extensive plans to streamline operations and cut costs across the agency’s departments. Vilsack announced a reallocation of USDA facilities and resources in light of the government’s budget challenges. Since 2010, Congress has reduced USDA’s discretionary operating budget by more than $3 billion – a roughly 12% cut. That includes a workforce decrease of more than 7,000 employees, streamlining […]

Agribusiness News – Week of January 2, 2012

FDA plans to release new food safety rules Jan. 4 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled on Jan. 4 to publish proposed regulations to implement the cornerstone of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to the National Grain and Feed Assn. FDA is planning to issue four separate sets of proposed regulations on the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the massive food/feed safety legislation into law. Two of those sets of proposed rules will pertain to the requirement that food and feed facilities analyze hazards, implement appropriate preventive controls and develop written food/feed safety plans […]

Agribusiness News – Week of December 26, 2011

BEEF’S FOOTPRINT IS SHRINKING A study published in the Dec. 18 Journal of Animal Science found that raising a pound of beef in the U.S. today uses significantly fewer natural resources — including land, water, feed and fuel — than in the past. Dr. Jude Capper of Washington State University documented, in the paper “The Environmental Impact of Beef Production in the United States: 1977 Compared with 2007,” that each pound of beef raised in 2007 used 33% less land, 12% less water, 19% less feed and 9% less fossil fuel energy than equivalent beef production in 1977. Waste outputs were […]