Tag: insurance

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins
Group Was Able to Stop Bills Harmful to Agriculture

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (April 18, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) followed 139 bills during the 2022 General Assembly, which ended this week. Of those, MDFB supported 65 — on issues like wildlife damage to crops; supporting urban agriculture; and right-to-repair farm implements — and opposed 19. Of the 65 supported, 29 passed. Of the 19 opposed, only three passed and all three were significantly amended to either remove MDFB’s opposition or lessen the impact to farmers. 

“The 2022 legislative session has been interesting, to say the least,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “It all started with a December special session to review and vote on a new congressional district map — which caused some changes this year to the process of setting policy — and ended with many wins for Maryland farmers.”

During the session, MDFB held a virtual Day in Annapolis where Farm Bureau members discussed priority bills with legislators and met with Governor Larry Hogan. Here are the results of those bills: 

Bills supported by MDFB:

  • HB558/SB296: Adding “farm camping” to the agritourism state definition. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB855/SB942: Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Program. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB562: Right-to-Repair – Farm Equipment. Bill died in committee.
  • HB1216: Urban Agriculture Grant Program. Bill died on the Senate floor on Sin E Die.
  • HB1002/SB800: Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Farm Electricity. Both bills died in the House committee.
  • HB592/SB497: Deer management permits on state-owned land statewide. House bill passed and awaits the Governor’s signature.
  • HB682/SB427: Baltimore County groundhog hunting permit exemption. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB956/SB582: Landowner liability exemption for allowing hunting. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.

Bills opposed by MDFB:

  • HB11:  RPS Tier 1 renewables – removal of biomass energy. Bill died in committee.
  • HB387/SB268: Transfer of the regulation of pesticides from MDA to MDE. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB596/SB783: Environmental rights – Constitutional Amendment. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB798: Community Healthy Air Act. Bill died in committee.
  • HB496/SB275: Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Both bills passed but were amended to exempt employers of less than 15 employees and employees that work less than 680 hours annually.

“During the 2022 legislative session, Maryland Farm Bureau worked diligently to ensure the voice of our members was heard as we worked to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life,” said Ferguson. 

The total number of bills introduced this session in Maryland was 1,487 House bills and 1,011 Senate bills.

MDFB members are invited to its annual Day in Annapolis and given weekly legislative updates or calls-to-action during session. Visit members.mdfarmbureau.com for membership information.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)

573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

Maryland Farm Bureau Hosts Legislative Day

maryland farm bureau hosts legislative day
Annual Day in Annapolis Brings Farmers, Legislators Together

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (February 10, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) hosted its annual Day in Annapolis yesterday to give its members the opportunity to stay up-to-date on legislation affecting farming and rural communities and to visit with their legislators. The format, virtual due to the Maryland Capitol’s pandemic closure, allowed for nearly 50 legislators and 120 farmers to interact, with an issues briefing, questions, and break-out sessions.

“We know how important these bills are — especially their implications for Maryland’s farming community. Thank you to all of the legislators and staff for taking the time to learn how these issues affect our ability to grow and raise food, fiber, and renewable fuel, as well,” said Wayne Stafford, MDFB president.

Proposed legislation that MDFB is currently following are bills moving pesticide regulation from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE); deer and wildlife damage to crops and privately owned farmland; permitting and air quality regulations; and the right to repair farm equipment.

“The right-to-repair bill helps to ensure that all sizes of farms can continue to operate to meet time-sensitive needs of crops, and aren’t dependent on huge companies,” said Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. “I know large equipment companies are fighting this, so we should look out for the small family farmer. I’m 100% with Maryland Farm Bureau on this and happy to continue to move that forward.”

MDFB’s list of priority bills include the following, which it supports:

  • SB 296/HB 558: Establishes a definition for “agritourism” with regards to land use. It adds camping and incidental outdoor stays to the state’s definition of agritourism.
  • HB 562: Requires farm equipment manufacturers to provide farmers the capability and tools needed to repair their own modern farm equipment, so that they are not dependent on over-committed technical service providers during the busiest times of the year for farming.
  • Various bills establishing funds to help urban agriculture, such as HB 855 with water and power infrastructure.
  • SB 800: Sales and use tax exemption for agricultural electricity.
  • Various bills allowing the management of deer/wildlife on private and state-owned property to reduce widespread destruction of crops, such as SB 497/HB 592, and in Baltimore County SB 427/HB 682.
  • SB 582: Provides that if a landowner directly invites or permits an individual to use their property for hunting, the invited individual assumes all responsibility and liability for their own safety.

 

A number of bills introduced during this session would make farming more difficult in Maryland.

“Several of these bills would cause undue burden and hardship on Maryland farmers while costs related to operating a farm today continue to rise,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “Some of these bills ignore decades of conservation management efforts and best management practices farmers have put in place to protect air and water quality and soil health. Farmers build a livelihood for themselves and their families right next to or on the same land in which they grow crops and raise livestock; being good stewards of the environment is always in their best interest.”

Maryland Farm Bureau opposes the following bills:

  • HB 11: Excludes many energy sources derived from agricultural production from the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.
  • SB 268/HB 387: Would move pesticide regulation from MDA to MDE.
  • HB 596: Grants Marylanders standing to intervene on any state application process if they believe another’s action or permit interferes with any of their rights to a clean environment.
  • HB 798: Would create a new government bureaucracy to enact costly air quality requirements for farms above and beyond existing environmental quality standards.
  • HB 496: Establishes the requirement of all employers of all sizes (including self-employed) to pay into a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.

“If we don’t use ag sources such as biomass and thermal energy as renewable energy sources, then all of that waste has to go somewhere not beneficial and is a nuisance,” said Senator Stephen Hershey, on HB 11. “It’s important to continue educating all of our colleagues on how various renewable energy is actually produced and utilized as opposed to negative assumptions based on not understanding.”

Bob Cissel, a Montgomery County farmer, addressed the deer damage and wildlife management bills. “Our deer damage problems in Maryland are like if you had a store and in the mornings you woke up and 9% of your inventory was gone,” he said.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that services as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau® is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Learn more at MDFarmBureau.com.  

Media Contact:
Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)
573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

3 questions to ask before lending farm & ag equipment to neighbors

3 questions to ask before lending farm & ag equipment to neighbors


The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

When her husband Mike passed away in 2020, Jolene Palmer was faced with the task of harvesting the Fairfax, Minnesota, farm family’s corn crop —but she wasn’t alone.

Neighboring farmers eagerly volunteered their time and equipment —58 people, 12 combines, 12 grain carts and 28 semis, to be exact —to help her get the crop in the bin.

“In a total of 15 hours, they harvested 1,100 acres. It really was a true effort,” Palmer said.“It went so smoothly. It was just a huge accomplishment and it really made everybody feel good.”Farmers are well known for helping each other in times of need. Lending equipment or a helping hand to neighbors often takes place without a second thought. But like anything in farming, it’s crucial to do proper planning –weighing any safety, liability and insurance considerations.

Before lending farm & ag equipment, consider this scenario

Say your neighbor rolls over your lent tractor, which is one of the most common accidents in farming. Could you be liable for injuries? Will damages to the tractor be covered under your insurance policy?

Change your production systems

Nationwide’s AVP of Risk Management, Jason Berkland, recommends farmers stop and ask themselves three important questions before lending equipment to assist neighbors, including: 

  1. Does my policy extend coverage for rented or lent equipment? Before donating equipment or machinery to help out, confirm any coverage for that equipment with your farm insurance agent.
  2. Is the piece of equipment in good working order? Make sure any machinery or equipment you are lending is well-maintained. That includes having all safety equipment like guards or locks installed and in working order. For additional information on mobile equipment safety, consider our mobile equipment safety training program.
  3. Does the person borrowing the equipment have the experience and ability to run the equipment safely? Confirm who will be operating the equipment and that they have the necessary experience. Also conduct a walk-around together to point out safety features, worn parts and areas to watch while using the equipment. 

Change your production systems

As the #1 farm insurer in the U.S.1, Nationwide has been helping farmers in need for nearly a century –so we get it. We just want to make sure that when farmers help other farmers, safeguards are in place to help protect those involved.

Contact your local Nationwide Farm Certified agent to learn more about the risks of lending farm equipment and to confirm you have the proper coverage. This way, you can be confident in helping your neighbors.

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2021 Nationwide

KEEP THE FARM PROTECTED WITH INFLATION GUARD COVERAGE

Keep the farm protected with inflation guard coverage

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

There’s a lot happening around the world that’s applying downward pressure to revenue prospects for farmers. Inflation, logistical hurdles, rising energy and crop input prices at home and conflict overseas could all continue to contribute to the erosion of farm revenue potential.

But maximizing farm revenue requires investment. That investment is likely to come with some sticker shock this spring and beyond. The right insurance coverage can help.

Staying on top of your insurance coverage can help keep unexpected expenses like rising replacement costs from cutting potential farm revenue. A close eye on your coverage and a call to your agent can help make sure these costs don’t add to the financial pressure caused by inflation and other factors at home and abroad.

“All of these issues have a big impact on farm operational costs. We’re seeing higher prices for energy, machinery and many other inputs,” said Nationwide Senior Economist Ben Ayers. “It puts a lot of pressure on revenues many farmers are facing.”

Connecting with your agent is key  

During this time of uncertainty, Nationwide and your local Nationwide farm agent are working hard to help farmers maintain the right coverage levels without incurring too much additional cost. Now is time to talk with your agent.

“My immediate concern is making sure you have adequate coverage,” said Nationwide Associate Vice President for Agribusiness Regional Sales Nick McCleish. “We have to make sure the amount of insurance is keeping pace with rising costs.”

McCleish cites a recent example when a farmer had to replace a $75,000 grain cart. But at the time of replacement, the price for that grain cart had surged to $90,000. That meant the farmer paid the additional cost out-of-pocket. “Paying those types of increased costs become much more difficult if you don’t keep your policy updated,” McCleish said. 

Adding inflation guard coverage can help

The optional inflation guard coverage can help prevent such revenue losses by increasing dwelling and structure coverage limits at policy renewal. Also known as Construction Cost Adjustment, it helps to account for inflation in replacement or construction costs based on appraisals.

But inflation guard doesn’t always cover all additional costs. It’s important to have a good idea of costs for things like building materials and equipment ahead of time. Then match coverage levels to potential unexpected replacement or repair needs.

“Your insurance should not be a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ type of activity. Keep your agent up to speed on how your operation’s changing. Make sure you’re covered appropriately,” McCleish said. “Have an agent that understands your operation, and uniqueness of what you’re trying to do. Our Farm Certified agents serve that purpose.”

Visit AgInsightCenter.com for more expert tips and information from Nationwide. 

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide

Benefits of farm equipment asset tracking

Benefits of farm equipment asset tracking

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

Businesses have employed an evolving range of asset tracking tools to help keep track of things like equipment and product inventory since the 1960s. Today, asset tracking is readily available to farmers challenged by managing growing farm machinery and equipment lineups.

Asset tracking platforms like Zubie Asset Trak offer farmers benefits in both the short and long term. And with today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to create value and ROI from proactive asset tracking. 

Know farm equipment whereabouts and improve field operations 

If your farm’s growing, that may mean a lot more farm machinery and equipment than in the past. Whether it’s in the field, in the farm shop or anywhere in between, asset tracking creates a new set of eyes for your equipment.

A system like Zubie’s provides real-time location data so you always know where farm equipment is located. During the busy seasons of planting or harvest, this data enables you to make informed short-term decisions in scheduling field operations and managing workers to maximize productivity.

There’s a protective component to asset tracking, too. Systems like Zubie Asset Trak enable the user to create “geofences” that dictate where equipment can be operated. If a piece of equipment is outside that fence, the operator may be working in the wrong place or the equipment has fallen into the wrong hands. Asset tracking enables you to take the right corrective action, whether it’s a simple phone call to an operator or alerting the authorities that your equipment may have been stolen.

Get up to 15% off Zubie Asset Trak devices

Now is a good time to consider adding asset tracking to your growing equipment and machinery lineups. Through an exclusive discount, Nationwide farm policyholders can get up to 15% off Zubie Asset Trak devices and 1- to 3-year service subscriptions without sharing policy information.

Email nationwide@zubie.com to learn more about Zubie Asset Trak and how to integrate the technology into your farm or ranch.

Visit AgInsightCenter.com for more expert tips and information from Nationwide. 

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide

Celebrating National Ag Day today and every day

Celebrating National Ag Day today and every day

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

National Ag Day is celebrated March 22 this year and is the perfect time to recognize the hard-working men and women of American agriculture for all they do. From keeping us fed, clothed and fueled to being the economic engine that powers rural communities, they provide so much to everyday life. That alone is something to be celebrated. But so is the fact the agriculture sector is always adjusting and evolving to keep up with ever-changing needs of customers. At Nationwide, we are too. 

Evolving Together

Technology is evolving faster than ever in agriculture today. Crop farmers, for example, are using new tools to improve crop productivity, reduce environmental impacts and improve worker safety. Other innovations help livestock producers improve animal health, work more efficiently and improve environmental sustainability. Agribusinesses are evolving how they connect with farmers and ranchers through things like digital platforms and telematics.

Staying up on advances like these can be a challenge. Nationwide is committed to helping farmers and ranchers stay ahead of today’s fast pace of evolving technology and how it affects their operations.

“Farmers and ranchers today have incredible technology at their disposal. But it can sometimes be difficult to identify what’s truly needed to make real improvements at the farm level,” said Brad Liggett, President of Nationwide Agribusiness. “Nationwide is committed to helping our customers be resilient and ready for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Working to protect your next

This year, we’re celebrating National AgricultureDay by doubling down on our commitment to protect your next. It’s a role that entails not just providing the right insurance products and services but also staying on the leading edge of technology, tools and practices farmers and ranchers depend on to get their jobs done, today and tomorrow.

“Protecting your next means being there for today and being ready for tomorrow,” Liggett said. “At Nationwide, we are always challenging ourselves to make sure we’re providing the products and services that will enable farmers and ranchers to do what they do best. And protecting your next is a big part of our commitment to the farm and ranch families and agribusinesses we serve.”

Ag Day every day 

National Ag Day is just one day out of the year. But for the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S., it’s a daily commitment that has no end. Throughout the month of March, Nationwide is hosting a series of company-wide employee events to highlight the diversity of ag across the U.S.and to celebrate Nationwide’s longstanding ag heritage.
 
“We want National Ag Day to be about showing the world just how connected agriculture is to everyone’s daily lives,” Liggett said. “But it’s just one of 365 days a year that we spend looking ahead to make sure we’re meeting the insurance and risk management needs of farm and ranch families, today and well into the future.” ThisNational AgricultureDay, let’s plan how to protect your next together. Get in touchwith a Nationwide Farm Certified agent or visit NationwideAgribusiness.comto get started.
 

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.© 2021 Nationwide

3 Life Insurance Options to Secure Your Farm

3 Life Insurance Options to Secure Your Farm

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.*

Life insurance can protect your family and your business in more ways than you might think. If you’re a beginning farmer, it can provide your family with financial stability in your absence. It is also instrumental in helping your farm continue after illness, retirement or if you pass away. It can even help provide needed funds should something happen to one of your operation’s most valuable employees. Here are three examples of how the right life insurance coverage can protect you:

1. Term policies can help beginning farmers

If you’re younger or just beginning your farm, you’ve likely taken on some debt… maybe even a hefty amount of it. After covering your family’s living expenses and paying on your farm’s debt, there may not be much left over in your family’s bank account.

That challenge is exactly why term insurance is so important. Term policies provide life insurance coverage at the lowest cost and can help your family cover your personal or business debts. It can also create an emergency cash fund or provide needed financial support while your family gets back on their feet.

“As a farmer just getting started, you may have incurred personal debt in order to finance the growth of your farm. This debt has a life of its own and will survive your premature passing. This debt means that less of your assets will be available to support your loved ones,” according to Nationwide Advanced Consulting Group DirectorSteve Hamilton. “A level term life insurance policy that protects your family through the life of your loan is an easy and cost-effective way to help make sure your debt does not burden your loved ones after your passing.”

2. Universal life policies for established farmers

If you’re a more established farmer with a higher-value operation, there’s an additional benefit that can come with a permanent life insurance policy. Whether you’re concerned about protecting your family or your savings, universal life policies can provide:

  • Permanent death benefit protection
  • Income tax-free death benefits for your family
  • Additional source of savings with tax benefits
  • Source of tax-free supplemental income in retirement
 
“More established farm operators can consider adding a permanent, cash-accumulating life insurance policy to their personal balance sheet,” said Hamilton. “Farms, land and equipment all possess varying degrees of liquidity risk. If your family needs funds quickly after your passing, an asset may not sell quickly or profitably when there’s a lack of demand. Whether the policy allows your family to bide time for a better offeror allows your family to keep the tractor running if you’re not around, a permanent, cash-accumulating life insurance policy can become the cornerstone of a farming family’s financial plan. 
 

3. A survivorship life policy for the future of your farm 

When planning the future of your operation, the right life insurance policy can help ease the financial pains of transitioning the farm. A survivorship life insurance policy is an option to consider.

“A buyout of your farm funded with a survivorship life insurance policy can ensure that your farm’s successors have the funds to purchase your operation or that your spouse and children that may not work the farm receive the financial benefits of your life’s work,” Hamilton added. “Even if the next generation is not your successor, a buyout funded with life insurance amongst future or current co-owners can help the farm continue operating while your family is financially taken care of.

”If you’re interested in exploring your life insurance options to secure your family’s or your farm’s financial future, don’t wait.Get connected to a financial specialist who can help protect your farm, family and future by visiting Nationwide.com/YourLand. 

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2020. Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Not all Nationwide affiliated companies are mutual companies, and not all Nationwide members are insured by a mutual company. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval. Products and discounts not available to all persons in all states. Nationwide Investment Services Corporation, member FINRA. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2021 Nationwide

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