Larry Westerhoven knows apples.
As a crop insurance adjuster in Michigan, it’s his job to say what a crop is worth after hail or frost.
“If a guy has problems with his crop, I go out and appraise it,” he said. “I put a value on that crop. Most of these guys around here raise apples for the grocery stores, bagged apples or tray packs or this and that. So, I’ll make an appraisal on that and put a grade on the apples and then they make a decision what they want to do with it.”
Larry was one of several crop insurance adjusters and agents National Crop Insurance Services visited on our recent trip to Michigan.
Scott Colville’s family has been selling crop insurance since 1967. He takes pride in helping farmers stay in business after weather disasters.
“The reason crop insurance even exists is to help the American people and keep the food prices down,” he said. “And you can only do that if the farming community is able to farm and continue farming in a bad year. I would like to see Congress protect what we have in crop insurance and expand it.”
Colton Geiger, a field marketing representative, enjoys working with insurance agents to make sure they understand the latest products and the changes in the industry. He comes from a farming family.
“I think the work really matters in terms of working with farmers and making sure that they can keep farming for years to come,” he said. “Something that I grew up with, you know, in my family, just carrying that farming tradition on down the line.”
Back on the apple farm, Larry said its gratifying to help a farmer make a good decision about a crop because the margins have become so slim.
He hopes Congress will maintain and expand crop insurance in the next Farm Bill.
“Well, I just ask Congress, do they want to eat?” he said. “You want to put these guys out of business or we don’t grow food in this nation anymore? You know, we’re still a leader in food production. I’d like to see us stay there.”
Watch these stories and more at CropInsuranceInAmerica.org.