Growing Your Agribusiness with Oakbridge

Apr 5, 2023

For many laypeople, the business of farming conjures up bucolic images of comfy haystacks, grazing cattle and roosters crowing at the dawn. But in reality, today’s farm business is one of the most intense, complex operations imaginable. The modern farmer must wear many hats: technology expert, horticulturalist, finance wizard, sales manager and meteorologist, among others.

To stay in business, today’s farmer must successfully navigate the combined pressures of rising input costs, labor availability, water sourcing, climate change and shifting market preferences. In this environment, it is crucial for farm owners to adequately manage risk, both in terms of prevention and loss recovery. An effective risk management program and adequate insurance protection can make or break the modern agribusiness.

There are several ways to build an effective program, one that ensures your farming investment is protected. Let’s look at a few:

Risk mitigation – Eliminating risk in an operationally intense business is the best way to avoid catastrophic casualties. Farming is a prime example. When risks associated with equipment operation and personnel safety are reduced, so too is the cost associated with loss (time, capital, output, medical, etc.).

Liability insurance – As every farmer knows, accidents happen. Protecting your property and your investment when they do happen is crucial for your business’ survival. Personal and business liability coverage is a must.Property insurance – The capital outlays for farming are enormous. Advancing technology, land costs and machinery replacement all drive the need for adequate insurance coverage. Don’t forget your property’s buildings and crucial infrastructure, such as irrigation systems.

Employee programs – Recruiting and keeping good employees is one of the modern farmer’s most challenging jobs. Workers’ compensation insurance and benefit programs are two ways farmers can maintain an attractive workplace for staff.

Life insurance and succession planning – Owners should consider life insurance programs that give them the flexibility and liquidity to invest in future operations, as well as protect the existing business. Succession planning can create beneficial tax structures and ensure a successful business thrives well into the future.

Crop insurance – There are two forms of crop insurance available on the market today – Federal coverage, provided by the USDA, and private insurance, purchased from independent insurance agents. Either, or both, may be a wise hedge against unforeseen failures or diminished yields.

Umbrella coverage – Regular policy limits might not cover catastrophic loss, either property protection or business and personal liability. In an operationally intense business such as agriculture, an umbrella policy may mean the difference between a business’ survival and its failure.

Oakbridge believes farmers deserve the best agriculture and farm insurance available. We’ve grown up on farms and in agricultural communities and understand firsthand the unique risks and exposures that farming entails. We have long-standing relationships with all the major agricultural carriers, and we know the challenges agribusinesses face. Give us a call and let’s talk about the best ways to protect and grow your business.

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