Grains of Knowledge

4 Ways Technology Drives Growth on the Modern Farm

Emerging national trends are forcing farmers to rethink processes and increasingly look to technology for solutions. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) recently put a focus on the role of agricultural technologies to meet these challenges in their report, Food Security in a World Headed Toward Natural Resource Scarcity: The Role of Agricultural Technologies.

Can It! The Safest and Healthiest Options for Canned Food

The convenience that canned food brings makes it a staple in the grocery store aisle. Need proof? The next time you are at the store, take a walk up each of the rows and note the number of cans. They line the shelves as a quick and simple solution for produce, grain and proteins, but with a hidden risk that could turn an otherwise healthy choice into a medical misfortune. The culprit? A relatively illusive culprit named Bisphenol-A, or BPA, an industrial chemical used since the 1960s to protect cans ingredients from contamination. While BPA keeps canned food items fresh […]

Westfield’s Guide to Grain Bins: 3 Safety Lessons Learned

Last year, no less than 19 grain entrapments occurred in the United States, according to research compiled by Purdue University’s Agricultural Safety and Health Program, which documents confined space incidents in agriculture. While down from 2011, and significantly down from 2010’s all-time high of 57, the occurrence of these incidents still leaves room for education on safety and techniques for prevention. Early last month, a number of Westfield Insurance Risk Control Unit and Commercial Agribusiness/Farm Division employees gathered at the University of Akron campus in Medina County, Ohio to bring greater awareness to the common hazards associated with grain bin […]

Do Farmers Need Equipment Breakdown Coverage?

We wanted to share this post from our sister blog, The Commercial Line, as this topic is relevant and important to our readers of Grains of Knowledge.

From a farm and agribusiness side, our underwriters tell us they are seeing more dairy and grain farmers adding this coverage to their farm accounts. They see and sometimes experience, the gap they have to a potential loss without this important coverage. The potential return on the investment is well worth the price of the coverage.

3 Ways the 2013 Farm Bill Will Affect You

With the Farm Bill narrowly passing through the house recently, it’s important to understand how some provisions may affect you and your community. Typically conservative, both The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers union, urged lawmakers to vote against the bill. However, the legislation passed 216 to 208, and here are our 3 key takeaways from the newly passed bill: 1. Food Stamps and Local Food Banks The most widely discussed and debated piece of the legislation revolved around the absence of any mention of food stamps. Historically, the farm bill covered budgeting for the above topic. This absence […]

High-Tech Spotlight: Wearable Technology and Google Glass on the Farm

Farming is an industry that embraces opportunities for advancement. While some basic agricultural principles and techniques date back hundreds (even thousands) of years, farmers are known to be among the early adopters of technology, continuously introducing new tools and methodologies that will improve efficiencies, increase outputs, and ensure the safety of workers and the environment. From state-of-the-art irrigation systems and planting breeding, to mapping of crops and land via global positioning systems (GPS), farmers have a long history of innovation through technology and practices. So what’s next? Well, based on recent industry and technology features, it appears wearable technology will be one of the next breakthrough technologies on the […]

The Westfield Insurance Agribusiness Exchange

How can we bring added value to you or your company? This is a question all departments in Westfield ask to better serve their clients. Last month, Westfield hosted the third annual agribusiness exchange in an effort to further improve and refine client services. The event featured customers, agents and special guests. Agribusiness Exchange is simply two days of customer, agency and company relationship buildings peppered with informational meetings to share information on the growing trends in the industry. This year, Westfield had two outstanding spotlight speakers: Joi Johnson (Red Gold, Inc.) and Ryan P. Kennedy (Roetzel) Joi Johnson intrigued us all with her presentation on Red Gold […]

2013 Georgia Farmer of the Year – A Westfield Customer!

We are very pleased to announce that Mr. Will Harris from Bluffton, Ga. has been named the Georgia Farmer of the Year!  He is the owner of White Oak Pastures, a large organic farm in that provides high-quality natural meat products to upscale grocery stores and restaurants. Mr. Harris has been farming for over 35 years and currently operates a farm that includes: 700 beef cows 400 ewes in his sheep operation 50 nannies in the goat herd 30 sows in the hog herd 150 doe rabbits 300,000 chickens are raised annually 3,000 geese and ducks 5,000 turkeys and 5,000 guinea fowl Our hearty congratulations to Mr. Harris and his operation for this […]

Don’t let your day of Red, White and Blue turn Green

Marilyn vos Savant, in Parade Magazine, once stated “What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining the perfect, delicate balance between freedom “to” and freedom “from.” Although this was a statement about our great country and the celebration of its independence, one could also take this as a spin on the freedom we have to choose the foods we eat, and the freedom to stay far from food borne illness. As the Fourth of July approaches quickly, and as we head further into our summer, it is important to take a closer look into food safety when heat comes into play. The harsh reality of the situation is […]

Ditch the Dirt!

When people think of farming there are a few necessary key components. Traditionally, when thinking of farming you think of nutrient rich ground to grow your crops, right? Now, take a step away from what we know as traditional and open your eyes to the innovative way of farming referred to as “vertical farming.” Although this is a new concept in our minds, the actual innovators, the Babylon’s, created it in 600 BC. Known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were used as a romantic gesture from King Nebuchadnezzar II to his wife, Amytis, to remind her of the place in […]

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