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Aaron and Amanda Hager

Aaron and Amanda Hager, Frohna

Never in Question 

By Joann Pipkin
Beth Bruckerhoff is Aaron Hager's FCS Financial crop insurance agent.

Aaron Hager remembers 2012 all too well. It was a drought-plagued year for Missouri farmers. And, it was his second-year row cropping on his own. 

“We grew 35-bushel corn that year and 7-bushel soybeans, and without crop insurance, I’d have a double mortgage on this place and wouldn’t be row cropping,” the Frohna, Missouri, farmer says. 

Hager, who raises cattle in addition to farming about 650 acres of corn and soybeans, also runs a small agri-business, where he offers custom hauling services and spreads lime and fertilizer. He also manages a small powder coating business.

For Hager, the need for crop insurance was never in question. “You’re not going to have a $35,000 car and drive it around with no insurance on it,” he says. “It’s not cheap to plant a crop. It’s just not financially smart. It’s pennies on the dollar.”

Hager came to FCS Financial for his crop insurance needs on the recommendation of a friend who works at a local grain elevator. He has come to appreciate the service-oriented promptness and professionalism that FCS Financial offers, especially since he isn’t a large grower. 

“(They’ve) never made me feel like I’m not important,” Hager explains. “It makes me have confidence in what I’m doing here that I can call if I ever have a problem, and it will be handled. I wouldn’t go anywhere else right now.”

While the Mississippi River lies just about two miles from Hager’s farm, he says he’s fortunate to not fight flooded bottomland. 

“This is hill farming,” Hager says. “There’s no irrigation. The two biggest determining factors in you making money are Mother Nature and the markets. And, you can’t control either one of them at all.”

The southeast Missouri farmer says he’s fortunate to work with great landlords that have come to trust him over the years even though he isn’t a large-scale grower. “I take a lot of pride in that, that a landlord would choose me over another guy with more ways and means than I have,” he says.

When it comes to crop insurance, the bottom line for Hager is in financial security. Knowing what his guarantees are before the crop ever goes into the ground brings him peace of mind. 

“You know what the minimum is you’re going to get for your crop before you plant the seed, and that’s what you have to have being a relatively new guy,” Hager says. 

Hager and wife, Amanda, stay busy with two young children, Madilynn and Will. 

“Your whole life, it’s hard enough to make the payments as it is,” he explains. “(Without crop insurance), you’re a couple of crop failures away – maybe even one – from being underwater. My second year was 2012, and without FCS Financial, I doubt I’d be in business right now.”

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