Category Archives: Public

Courtesy of The Insurance Journal

Kansas recorded a 22 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 compared with the previous year, and one state trooper says distracted driving is the main reason.

The Kansas Department of Transportation says 432 people died in traffic accidents in 2016.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the National Safety Council says traffic fatalities increased 6 percent nationwide in 2016.

Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Chad Crittenden says distracted driving is the key reason for the increase. He says he recently watched 14 drivers while he was stopped at a busy Wichita intersection — and 11 of the drivers went through the intersection either talking or texting on their phones.

Others say lower gas prices also are a factor, because more drivers are on the roads.

For the past 44 years, Farmers Alliance has put on an Education Luncheon to honor

employees’ hard work furthering their education. This year’s luncheon was held on February 15th, 2017. The Guests of Honor were employees who completed IIA/CPCU courses or designations in 2016. Attendees enjoyed a pasta buffet catered by Knackies of McPherson.

Here are some Fun Facts for 2016 Award Year:

  • There are currently 40 employees that hold the CPCU designation.
  • In 2016, there were 46 employees who sat for 119 IIA/CPCU exams.
  • Of those exams 40 employees successfully completed 87 exams.
  • Employee-Wide Pass Ratio for 2016: 73%
  • 21/46 employees completed at least one designation.
  • 38 employees successfully completed an IIA/CPCU course in 2016.

For this year’s luncheon, it was a “At the Movies” theme.

Kelly Kostelnik, Carri Brobst, and Teri Russell shared their education experiences with the group.

Teri Russell had this to say about completing her CPCU.

“I was encouraged on a regular basis to complete my CPCU. I took the hardest classes first, Law and Accounting. With those behind me, you’d think that finishing up would be a breeze, but life is happening all the time. I passed my last exam in May of 2016, and attended the conferment in Hawaii last September. Way beyond the knowledge that I’ve gained, I also gained the sense of accomplishment in completing a tough goal. Whether I will actually use it in my job or not– it will make me a better employee, a better citizen, and a better person.”

President Joe Brossard talked about the partnership with Central Christian College in McPherson, KS.  Some of our CPCU recipients teach insurance courses to college students.

President Joe Brossard addressing attending about the importance of insurance education

Congratulations to all award recipients!

 

If you go downstairs to the Farmers Alliance mail room during this holiday season, you will find more than just letters and packages. You will find several balloons in various shapes and sizes. Veeda Clark creates “Christmas Balloon Art”. She has made presents, an elf that sits on her shelf, and several other Christmas decorations.Veeda

This hobby started about three years ago, when Veeda would make balloon creations for her nieces and grand children’s birthdays. She has made several arches, columns, and table decorations. One of her favorite projects that she has done was her Niece, Sunnie’s Birthday Party.

The biggest decoration is a gateway arch that is red and white that sits in front of her desk. It took two hundred balloons to make, mainly small ones. She uses a pump for the larger balloons, but blows up the smaller ones by herself. She had to bring the arch in  three separate pieces in order to fit it in her car.

“It’s really hard to transport that amount of balloons in a Kia Soul.”

 

DSC_1048Article contributed by Tyler Bruton (Marketing).

“I had the opportunity to tag along with members of the claims and underwriting departments to visit the new PrairieLand Partners facility in McPherson a few months ago. This was a great experience, because for someone with very little farming background, everything was new to me.

Over the past year, I’ve seen this facility start as a plot of land and progress into a huge facility. The building is surrounded by various tractors and combines.

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We arrive and go into the building and I’m amazed at the architecture of building. When you walk in, there is a store and a display of various farm vehicles: small tractors, mowers, and other things.

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Walking by the hardware section, I noticed cans of spray paint. There are 3 colors: black, yellow, and John Deere green–On a side note, the question was asked during the tour if they had other colors of paint, in which they do!

We were then greeted by a man named Myron, who led us upstairs to one of their training rooms. Here we received an overview on the GPS systems in John Deere combines and tractors. Who would’ve thought that this stuff would be so expensive? Between the displays, receivers, and activations, it can get very pricey to replace.

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After the GPS systems training, we proceeded to tour the shop. In the shop, is where all the combine, tractor and mower repairs take place. This part makes up the majority of the building.

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Overall this was a very meaningful experience, and it’s very impressive how far farming technology has come over time.”

At Farmers Alliance, we cover all sorts of farm equipment and technology. Your Farmers Alliance agent is the best source of information regarding these coverages. Talk with them about your specific situation, and they’ll know just what you need!

IMPORTANT: Refer to the policy for coverages provided and pricing. If there is any conflict between the policy and this information, the provisions of the policy shall prevail.

“Everyone is touched by cancer in some way. It may be a friend, family member or a co-worker. Through the years, Farmers Alliance has had several employees battle this awful disease. As a team we want to put our foot forward and stomp out cancer. We have had a Relay for Life team for over twelve years,” said Gloria Schroeder, Farmers Alliance Claims Examiner and Relay for Life committee member.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life event is a life-changing experience that gives communities across the globe a chance to Celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, Remember loved ones lost, and Fight Back against the disease. Each year, more than four million people in over twenty countries take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

Farmers Alliance has done several initiatives over the years to raise awareness and raise money for this great cause. There have been silent auctions, benefit breakfasts and luncheons, dunk tank, car bash, and much more.

One of the popular initiatives is the selling of stickers that allow employees to wear jeans on Mondays (during the months that have five Mondays), flip-flops and shorts day, and hat day. This gives employees the chance to wear casual clothing which isn’t the business-casual dress code.

 

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The 2016 Farmers Alliance Relay for Life Team

The Farmers Alliance Team raises more than $5,000 a year, and is already making plans for 2017.

If you would like to get involved, or learn more about Relay for Life. Check out their page here.

For part of the Valentine’s Day goodies, we included a stress cow named Tami.

We decided we wanted to try something new so Tami was a part of a photo contest. The object was to take a photo of Tami on how she fits in the agency or in an adventure around town. See example below.

Tami in from the of the Farmers Alliance home office.

Tami in front of the Farmers Alliance home office.

We had over 250 entries. The agents were really creative, so picking the winners was no easy task.

Here is the Grand Prize winner!

Grand Prize Winner!

Grand Prize Winner! Integrity Insurance – CO

If you’d like to see all of the entries, check out our Facebook page. If you haven’t liked our page, give us a like. We greatly appreciate it.

fire-11Article from the Wichita Eagle.

Officials have not yet said what caused this week’s wildfires that have now burned about 405 square miles and several homes in Kansas.

But nationally, 95 percent of all wildfires start because of human activity.

Here are tips from the National Fire Protection Association to help you protect your property, particularly if you live in a rural area, on the edge of town or on a several acre lot.

Areas within 30 feet of the home, including decks and fences

▪ Carefully space plants that are low-growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily.

▪ Mow the lawn regularly.

▪ Prune trees so the branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

▪ Space conifer trees – such as cedars, firs, larches and pines – 30 feet between crowns. Crowns include the entire tree – limbs and leaves.

▪ Trim trees limbs so they don’t hang over the house.

▪ Don’t use flammable landscaping materials or high-moisture annual and perennial plants within five feet of the house.

▪ Remove dead vegetation from under decks

▪ Buy fire-resistant patio furniture, swing sets and outdoor materials.

▪ Do not place firewood stacks and propane tanks within 30 feet from the home.

▪ Regularly water plants, trees and mulch.

Areas between 30 and 100 feet from the home

▪ Leave 30 feet between clusters of two to three trees, or 20 feet between individual trees.

▪ Mix trees that shed leaves with those that don’t.

▪ Create “fuel breaks,” also called fire roads or fire lines. A driveway, gravel or a walkway creates a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that can slow or stop a fire’s progress.

▪ Prune trees 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

Areas between 100 and 200 feet from the home

▪ Remove smaller conifers – such as cedars, firs, larches and pines – that grow between taller trees.

▪ Remove woody debris.

▪ Cut or trim trees so canopies don’t touch.

Maintenance tips

▪ Prune trees and shrubs 6 to 10 feet from the ground. 

▪ Remove leaf clutter and dead and overhung branches.

▪ Mow the lawn regularly and promptly throw away cutting and debris.

▪ Store firewood more than 30 feet from the house.

▪ Maintain the irrigation system regularly.

Other tips

▪ When disposing of coal or ash outside, drown the charcoal and ash with water, stir and soak again.

▪ Check power equipment and use with caution on hot, dry days.

▪ Remove chains and other metal parts that drag from your vehicle. The sparks can start a fire.

▪ Check tire pressure. Driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks.

▪ Avoid driving or parking on dry grass. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire.

▪ Never let your brake pads wear too thin. Metal on metal makes sparks.

▪ Smokers should grind cigarettes, cigars, or pipe tobacco in dirt. Never grind them on a stump or log. Never throw it away into the brush or leaves. Use an ashtray while in your car.

Source: www.smokeybear.com/house-safety.asp

Checklist before burning

▪ Check the weather forecast: High winds on days after a burn can reignite ashes left behind.

▪ Have water nearby: Keep a hose or water tank close to the fire.

▪ Create a boundary: Cut a perimeter of short grass and rake the clippings.

▪ Don’t leave: Have enough people around to watch each edge of the fire.

Source: Kevin Doel, public information manager for the State Fire Marshal’s Office

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article67992292.html#storylink=cpy
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