Lt. Governor Susanne Crouch has presented this year’s Agrivision award to a Indiana based, multi-national, family run ag business and to an innovator in the farm insurance business.
Jerry Seger started the family farm in the 1950s, buying out his father’s feed mill in Southwestern Indiana. Today, the Seger family operates one of the largest turkey production businesses in the U.S. Farbest Foods, Inc. raises, feeds, and processes approximately 60,000 turkeys per day, which are sold mainly in the U.S., but also around the world. They also own Wabash Valley Produce, Inc. which processes 7 million eggs a day that are sent to three different facilities to be converted into egg whites or egg yolks. Combined, these businesses provide jobs for 2,000 employees. Ted Seger said being located in Indiana had a lot to do with their success, “Indiana is not only a state that supports agriculture, but also supports agribusiness.”
“It was an honor to present the Jerry Seger family with the AgriVision Award,” Lt. Gov. Crouch said. “Their vision has shaped the foundation of this great industry, and not just statewide, but nationally and globally.”
“Indiana’s agricultural strength comes from the values, ingenuity, and perseverance of Hoosiers,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “These recipients have dedicated their lives to moving the industry forward and supporting their communities, and it was a privilege to honor their legacy today.”
Seger told HAT that livestock and food production today faces many challenges and change is always needed to stay competitive, “We call it continuous improvement. As we face the challenges of regulations, animal welfare, and food safety, we need to continue to improve our operation and products.”
A second AgriVision award was presented to the James Allen Insurance of Carmel, IN for their innovation in the farm insurance industry that helps farmers manage their risk. James Allen Insurance is a family-owned business that is headed up by Tim Craig, CEO, and his father, Jim, who serves as the chief underwriting officer and chairman of the board.
Beginning in 1999, Tim was inspired after his father developed a farm pollution policy to create the underwriting division of the business with the mission to offer unique coverage plans for the farming industry. Over the past 25 years, James Allen Insurance developed numerous proprietary products designed to provide farmers with protection from unpredictable events.
In addition to underwriting services, the company creates, develops, and writes insurance programs and policies for areas of coverage that are new to the general marketplace. Valuing innovation, they provide solutions for unique industry needs and were the first business to develop policies in several areas, including Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever, and Avian Influenza.
The awards were presented as part of the Celebration of Agriculture, held last week at the Indiana State Fair. Now in its 12th year, the award recognizes members of Indiana’s agricultural community for demonstrating vision, innovation, and leadership in their field.