FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2011
OVERLAND PARK, KAN… Mike Gaynier, Spartan Crop Insurance, Ithica, Mich., is the recipient of the 2011 Crop Insurance Industry Outstanding Service Award in recognition for outstanding service and outreach to small, limited resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers. Steve Harms, Chairman of the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) Board of Directors, and Tom Zacharias, President of NCIS, presented the award at the 2011 Crop Insurance Industry Annual Convention.
Mike grew up in southeast Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University. He began his career as an agricultural loan officer with the Farm Credit Services of Southeastern Michigan and soon became the branch manager for Monroe County. During this time, Mike realized how well crop insurance worked with the other services the Farm Credit System provided. He became a leader in promoting crop insurance and became a key person in the Michigan “A” Team – a team comprised of the five Farm Credit Associations chartered in Michigan, traveling throughout the state to promote crop insurance.
In 1997, Mike left the Farm Credit System and purchased a partnership in the Spartan Crop Insurance Agency to devote his full time to promoting crop insurance. Over the next few years under Mike’s leadership and the help of his partners Scott Crumbaugh and Eric Cook, the agency grew to servicing business in eight states, and they have developed relationships with other organizations providing services and products for area farmers. This model continues to expand and has allowed Mike and his affiliates to become one of the largest crop insurance agencies in their operating area.
One such relationship is with The Andersons, a regional grain company located in Maumee, Ohio. In addition to originating grain, The Andersons provide many products that assist farmers in putting together a marketing plan allowing their customers to achieve a better price for their commodity and to achieve a profit for their farm enterprise. Mike has always promoted that crop insurance and a good marketing plan allow farmers to be more profitable. He has conducted many seminars with thousands of farmers, assisting them in understanding how this concept can provide the best opportunity to be profitable over time.
Mike lives in an area that has many specialty crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, perennial crops, and organic crops are common in this area as well. Mike and his affiliates work with specialty crop groups to make sure they understand the crop insurance products that are available. He and his affiliates conduct seminars with the groups and then follow up with each individual to make sure they understand what products are available and how they work.
Mike stays active with his state legislators to ensure they all understand current crop insurance issues and the importance of crop insurance. He is well acquainted with his U.S. Representative, John Dingell. It is not uncommon for Mike to receive calls from the Congressman’s staff concerning crop insurance issues. This personal relationship allows him to speak directly to the Congressman if the issue is one that needs his attention.
Mike is married to his high school sweetheart, Wendy and together they share two children, Matthew and Lindsey. Matt is also a graduate from Central Michigan University and Lindsey a graduate from Michigan State University. They live in Monroe, Mich.
Mike was nominated for the award by Agro National, Inc., Council Bluffs, Iowa.