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The belly-to-belly way

Smart phones are one of the greatest technological advancements of mankind. It has never been easier to communicate, stay up to date, or access information from a device that fits in your pocket.

cropInsuranceSMHowever, with so much power comes a greater issue. Like most parents with adolescent children are finding out, there is an ever-growing disconnect among people. This is especially true in business. The human connection that was once pinnacle quite often comes in the form of an app these days.

Mike Smith, MFA Crop Insurance’s principal agent who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, often reminds me and other MFA agents that “belly-to-belly” (face-to-face) is the best way to operate. When it comes to your farm, that human connection is important, Smith said.

“Phones are a great tool to get ap­pointments, but being there physically is everything,” he said. “It can be emotional for growers to make decisions about their operations. It’s their legacy on the line every year they farm. The goal of our crop insur­ance team is to hopefully be a comforting factor in helping growers make educated decisions in unsure times. That can’t be done over the phone or a text message.”

To make the best risk management plans tailored for each operation, Smith said that he and his team, including MFA agents across Missouri and surrounding states, want to get know their customers better.

“Other agencies often get near-sighted when it comes their clients,” Smith said. “Crop insurance is a moving target. Things change every year not only with the pro­gram itself, but with growers’ operations, too. If agents aren’t reviewing their policies every year, then they are failing their customers.”

For example, he points out how certain endorsements that may be excluded on a grower’s policy early on could hurt them years later.

“A 15-minute annual consultation could be the most crucial thing a grower does to ensure they are being proactive with not only their crop insurance but also their whole operation,” Smith said.

To learn more or to reach one of MFA Crop Insurance agents for a review of your policy, visit online at or call Principal Agent Mike Smith at 573-825-0493, Area Crop Insurance Agent Blake Thomas at 573-823-4054 or Area Crop Insurance Agent Taylor Gilmore at 573-476-7440.

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