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Stacey Bruce
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When the unthinkable happens and a crisis occurs, the first reaction is panic. In the first part of our crisis post, we discussed how to prepare for a crisis. Today, we will discuss what to do during and after the event. In the event that one occurs, take a deep breath before responding. There are three main steps to help you get through a crisis. Talk first to inside audiences, such as family and employees, to review the procedures for a crisis. Make sure these people know what their responsibilities are during the crisis. Talk to the media soon after... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
A crisis can happen at any moment. On July 3, a lawn care company had a customer appreciation picnic. Days later, more than 75 people became ill from E. coli. As we can see from this incident, anyone can experience an agriculture related crisis. From farmers producing the food, to companies selling products or even consumers providing food during an event everyone has the potential to be effected. Whether the cause is weather or contamination, undercover videos or activist organizations, or other causes, steps can be taken to prepare for, manage and recover from a crisis. The first step in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Here at Westfield, we like to do our part in providing helpful tips to our followers. Below is a list of essential farm safety advice and information that we've summarized from a variety of online resources. We also included links to these great sites for your reference. Feel free to share this information with others who can benefit from these tips. Farm Safety Tips: Always wear seat belts while operating or riding tractors, trucks and other farm equipment Have a fire extinguisher nearby When leaving a tractor unattended, put it into "park", set the brake and remove the key Install... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Noise can impact our lives in many ways. Noisy environments can impair your ability to enjoy life to the fullest and it can cause irreparable hearing loss. It’s not just hearing loss that is affected by loud situations, your balance... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2012 at Risk Factors
Attention: Ohio Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28 at 9:50 a.m. Check with your town, business or school for drill details. via A great post from our sister blog, Risk Factors. Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 27, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Welcome to 2012 National Agriculture Week! Thursday, March 8 is officially dubbed National Agriculture Day, and was selected by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture. Even though the national recognition is held once a year, the ACA works every day to expand awareness and appreciation of the essential role agriculture plays in American society. Since 1973, the ACA has worked to promote education and advancement of our country’s agriculture industry. At the root of the National Ag Day program, the ACA works to promote the following among Americans: Understand how... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Do you or a farmer you know suffer from a disability as a result of a farm injury? Do you know anyone who has a disease that challenges their ability to complete the daily work and chores around the farm or in general? Great new resources were just published by Ohio State University's Extension Agricultural Safety and Health team, along with the Education Program Coordinator from Ohio AgrAbility Program, to help with these situations. These resources are called "Fact Sheets" and are available online as PDF downloads. There are Fact Sheets available for many diverse situations and conditions. A few... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
The State Treasurer’s office has a strong and rich 27 year tradition of working with Ohio’s farmer and lenders to offer an interest rate reduction on their loans and lines of credit. In continuing this effort, we are proud to announce the beginning of the 2012 Agricultural Linked Deposit Program (Ag-LINK) application period which began on Thursday, January 19, 2012 and will end on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM. Agriculture is a vital component of Ohio’s economy, so much so that the industry employs one in seven Ohioans and pumps $98 billion into the state’s economy each year.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Fall Protection is the #1 OSHA Workplace Violation for 2011 via A good read filled with information from our sister blog, Risk Factors. Continue reading
Reblogged Feb 28, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Google "equipment breakdown" and you will see lists of various insurance offers and companies who offer many types of breakdown coverages. However it is hard to find a site that explains what this type of coverage is or why people need it. Equipment breakdown is as vital as property coverage for your small or large farms and all commercial business. Coverages are relatively inexpensive and provides needed protection for today's most common farm and home equipment and causes of breakdown. On today's farms, hi-tech equipment runs all types of operations more than ever. Overall farm exposures have evolved, and computer... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
As a follow up to our initial post of our interview with Parker Haviland, of LeBaron and Carroll, an independent agency out of Mesa, Arizona, here is part two of our interview. Parker shared information about his background and excitement about the agribusiness and farming niche. We also asked Parker how he manages to stay informed about key issues and topics important to his customers. Question - How do you stay informed on key issues that impact your clients and customers? Answer - There are several ways to stay informed and the biggest thing is to talk with my clients... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
This year, the Ohio Professional Pork Producers Symposium was held in Columbus, Ohio. This event was sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension, Pork Checkoff,, and the Ohio Pork Producers Council and was attended by many, including team members from Westfield Insurance Agribusiness Division. The event had many exibitors as well as informative sessions for pork producers, suppliers and pork lovers. The line up of speakers, presenters and topics included: Pen Gestation - Finding the Option that is Right for You by Thomas Parsons, VMD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Herd Management Factors That Influence Whole... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
For this blog post, the Westfield Agribusiness team is pleased to share this agency spotlight. While visiting sunny Arizona a few weeks ago, our team was fortunate to meet with one of our agents, Parker Haviland. He is with LeBaron & Carrol, LLC, Agribusiness Division, in Mesa, AZ. This is the first in a two-part discussion with him about the agribusiness niche, his background, and more. Question - how did you get started in agribusiness and insurance? Answer - My entire life has been centered around agriculture, with ties going back several generations. I have a great grandfather, 93, who... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
For more than a century, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)has been the annual stage for companies to announce and display the latest in automotive design and technology. From hybrid sedans to million-dollar sports cars, the NAIAS showcases the who’s who of auto innovation and sales. This year, Craftsman will set a new precedent by introducing the first ever tractor to the NAIAS in Detroit — yes, that’s right, a tractor. The Craftsman CTX 9500 tractor is the first of its kind to make an appearance, and will be among more than 40 vehicle introductions made at this year’s... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
Tis the season for resolutions and forecasts and we want to dedicate this post to the top forecasts in the farm and agricultural space for 2012. Here are our ideas of what to watch and expect to hear more about this year relating to farming and agribusiness: Food safety - this includes the FSMA (food safety and modernization act) as well as much more around food safety overall - including standards, recall, reporting and much more Farm Act - implementation of federal legislation; influences to America's food and farm policies; changes for the 2012 U.S. Farm Bill Elections - In... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
One statistic the state of Pennsylvania is not proud of is the large number of tractor rollover fatalities. Between the years 2000-2008, over 55 farm-related tractor rollover deaths occurred in Pennsylvania alone. One in 10 farmers will overturn a tractor in their lifetime, and one in seven farmers who are involved in a tractor rollover are permanently disabled. And experience alone is not enough to protect you; an alarming 80 percent of tractor rollovers happen to highly experienced tractor operators. So how can you avoid these statistics and be safe and secure in your tractor? How can you be assured... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2012 at Grains of Knowledge
As we enter the holiday season, it is important to remember to be safe while decorating for the holidays. Last year we brought you Five Tips for the Perfect Christmas Tree, this year we’re sharing Christmas Tree Safety Tips for you. Christmas trees account for 250 fires annually, resulting in 14 deaths, 26 injuries and more than $13.8 million in property damage. When selecting your holiday tree, be sure to tap it on the ground first at the base to see if many needles fall off. If several needles fall out, select another tree. Falling needles is an indication that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
A recent Ohio news story implies a connection between increased storm losses this summer and an increase in home inspections by insurance companies. While we can’t speak for other companies, we saw this story as an opportunity to explain Westfield’s home inspection process – how and why we do it. via Continue reading
Reblogged Nov 8, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
This year has been a record breaker in terms of storms, property damage and insurance claims. According to recent statements from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), during the first nine months of 2011, U.S. auto, home and business insurers paid policyholders more than $25 billion in catastrophe claims. From hurricanes and tornadoes, to severe thunderstorms and flash flooding, America’s farmlands have been some of the hardest hit areas. Unfortunately for some farms, the topic of insurance is not properly addressed, and leaves the cost of losses in the hands of the property owners. There are, however, ways farmers and agribusiness... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
A recent article in Feedstuffs magazine I read online grabbed my attention - "H1N1 avian flu re-emerging". Maybe it is becuase it is close to fall, flu season and flu shots. and I am keenly aware of the need to get my shot soon. I also thought we had seen the end of this type of flu, but that may be only myth. The article says the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced a posible resurgency of this flu and stressed there may be a "mutant strain" of this virus. Since its introduction in 2003, the flu has killed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
As the East Coast deals with the effects of Hurricane Irene, have you thought about whether or not your business (or home) is ready for natural disaster? What would you do? What supplies to you have ready? via Continue reading
Reblogged Sep 6, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
From the recent Westfield Insurance Risk Factors blog post, Landscapers & Country Clubs Beware: via Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 31, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
As Hurricane Irene draws closer to the east cost, all are bracing for the storm. This link from the Food and Drug Administration is a good and timely one that reminds us how to be prepared and what to do. Please read and share with others than can benefit from this information. What Consumers Need to Know About Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages, and Floods - Stacey Bruce Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
I recently read a great short article from titled, "Grow Smart: Keep Food Safe", and I realized this was important information to share regarding some common garden "bad habits" many of us demonstrate - even the most experienced gardeners! Food safety is something we are all responsible for regardless of how small or large our gardens may be. Many home gardeners do not think that any food-borne illnesess can come from their own garden, and that is a mistake. A telling quote from the article says, "...microbes really don't care which set of production practies you use ...... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge
After witnessing extensive house damage during severe storms in the earlier months of this year, I am fascinated at how residential roofing contractors perform the work they do. Newer houses, at least where I live, have very steep slopes – the kind that if you are not tied off or use some means to prevent falling, you likely will find yourself on the ground and not feeling so well. via Continue reading
Reblogged Aug 5, 2011 at Grains of Knowledge