Crop Insurance Today February 2015 - (Page 28)
Art Wiebelhaus, Fordyce, Nebraska
People hear a lot about crop insurance
and the fact that U.S. farmers spend $4 billion out of their own pockets to purchase it
every year. One of the greatest praises of our
modern crop insurance system is the customer service farmers receive before they have a
loss, but perhaps more importantly the service after. For some farmers, the hours after
a major farm disaster can seem like the lowest
point in their lives, when their careers seem to
be upended and their hopes for a big harvest
But quickly after a major loss occurs, crop
insurance adjusters are on the scene to meet
with the farmers and assess the damage. Crop
insurance adjusters are one of the unsung
heroes of the farm safety net, since they help
ensure that when disaster strikes, help in the
form of a crop insurance indemnity check is
on the way.
Before ever climbing in the truck, crop
adjusters are already on the phone making
business calls, watching the weather forecast,
reading the rain gauge and checking in with
their clients. They spend long days in the
office and even longer days out on the road.
Right beside the farmer as they walk through
their fields, these men and women are at the
very heart of why crop insurance is successful.
Art Wiebelhaus is one person in particular
who exemplifies just what it takes to be a crop
adjuster. He recognizes the commitment crop
production takes, the need crop insurance
fulfills, and the lifestyle agriculture holds.
From his understandings, Art utilizes a dynamic relationship between crop insurance,
farming, community, and family.
While he has been a crop adjuster for just
six years, Art has been a farmer his whole life.
As a third generation farmer, "I know what
they are going through and what their worries are. I'm a farmer too," commiserates Art.
Imagine waking up one day to your life's work
destroyed by events beyond your control, producers must carry around this possibility (and
lump in their throat) every day. It is an adjuster's job to provide farmers with the aid they
seek from crop insurance.
As producers dread the day when they
must make a claim, Art is still able to make
light of the situation. He laughs, "It seems that
when it rains, it just keeps raining, and when
it's dry, it just stays dry."
Growing up on the same place he now
farms, Art has seen crop insurance grow
around his own sleepy little town of Fordyce,
Nebraska, "A while back I remember meeting
While he has been a crop
adjuster for just six years,
Art has been a farmer his
one gentleman who didn't have crop insurance, and that's because there wasn't a policy that really worked for his operation. Of
course now, with improvements and changes
to crop insurance, he has coverage. Today, I
can't name one person who doesn't have crop
"With current prices, farmers need to have
crop insurance to stay in business," points out
Art. The loss of just one year can be so catastrophic that an operation cannot financially
come back from it. Keeping a farmer's "head
above water" means another year that he is
able to meet the demands of food production.
This is where the importance of an adjuster comes into play. They make the loss calculations for every insured field based upon scientific procedures. From these adjustments,
it is determined how crop insurance policies
can pay. Creating a tie to the producer, adjusters work with their clients to provide assessments that will have a positive impact on the
Along with this, crop adjusters must be
conscientious of their actions in order for this
process to be successful. For the best results
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Crop Insurance Today February 2015
A Work in Progress
Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
2014 A Year of Involvement
NCIS Agricultural Research & Technology Program
Crop Insurance In Action: Art Wiebelhaus, Fordyce, Nebraska
In Memory Mike Felt
In Memory Irl Oaks, Jr.
Insurable Crops Location & Plans
FFA Proficiency Winner
Crop Insurance Today February 2015