“We were quite thankful to have protection when we had our two barn fires in 2001 and 2014,” shared Dan Natzke of Wayside Dairy in Greenleaf, Wis. “From those experiences, our biggest lesson learned was to have a really good insurance company and a good agent whom we feel comfortable working with. If they are a good, sound, reputable company, then they advise you on how much insurance to carry on everything.”
The farm that is home to more than 1,000-milking head finds it incredibly important to foster that relationship with the insurance company.
Dan continued, “It was an easy transition from that fire into keeping our business running and keeping it going both times. That’s why we meet with the agent at least yearly.”
Three additional farms shared insight on “How they protect their assets” in this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel as well as the Round Table found on pages 726 to 728 of the December issue of Hoard’s Dairyman.
Here are additional responses to the prompt, “Tell us about a time you were thankful to have protection.”
Adon Farms, Potsdam, N.Y.: We once had a disgruntled employee who gave prostaglandin to about 30 pregnant heifers. Insurance pretty much paid to replace the animals. We were able to recover lost income of the potential milk. If you take 30 heifers that are 200 days carrying calf and cut them out, there is no future milk production and the time delay to replace them is terrible. We were able to put an opportunity cost on treating the animals and the labor that it required.
Hempel Dairy, Lebanon, Mo.: We have Farm Bureau Insurance on the farm, and they have always treated us fairly. This past harvest, we had a combine catch fire. With our coverage, we will be able to replace that piece of equipment. We lost a tractor in a similar way, which is why we are careful to keep the insurance plan up to date at all times. I know how important my insurance is. I know that good insurance on my farm is key to a smooth operation.
Meier Dairy, Palmer, Kan.: We had a bad hail storm three years ago, and it damaged all of our buildings and house. Luckily, the insurance covered all replacement of tin on the buildings, including the roofs. The biggest lesson for us was that even though insurance sometimes seems like a waste of money, it is something you can’t afford to be without.