I Am Vermont Strong License Plate- Released and Approved for Use

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance

Image courtesy of I Am Vermont Strong Faceebook Page

The state of Vermont and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has approved the use of the “I Am Vermont Strong” license plate for Vermonters. The plate may be displayed over your current Vermont registration on the front bumper of your vehicle through June 30th 2014.

You may pre-order your one of 10,000 license plates for $25, for shipment on 2/1/2012. More license plates may be created if there is a strong demand, but pre-ordering will get you on the list for the first edition.

The idea for the plates arose the of the “I Am Vermont Strong” movement that was started by Lyz Tomsuden and Eric Mallete of Rutland, VT. Originally “I am Vermont Strong” started as a Facebook photo that went viral. Vermonters loved the message so much that they started requesting t-shirts by the hundreds. So far they have sold over 4,500 t-shirts to Vermonters and Vermont supporters.

“I am Vermont Strong” will be donating $18 to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, and $2 to the Vermont Food bank for every license plate sold. Irene cause so much damage to the state of Vermont and donations are starting to decline, new sources of revenue for the relief funds can only help our cause. The resiliency and resourcefulness of our people never cease to amaze me as we travel on this journey to recovery.

To Pre-Order Your “I am Vermont Strong” plate you may do so through Vermont Life, and to read more about the “I am Vermont Strong” movement check out their website http://vtstrong.vermont.gov/ or Facebook Page.

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Downey Insurance is marching in the 10th Annual Strolling of the Heifers Parade June 4th, 2011

Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance

Downey Insurance Group is excited to be marching in the 10th Annual Strolling of the Heifers parade in Brattleboro, VT again this year.  This will be our 4th year sponsoring the event and participating in the parade.  We think it is such a great way to show our support for our local farm clients that are so important to us and to the community.  We insure most of our farm clients in the Monadnock region with Co-Op Insurance Company of Vermont which is co-sponsoring us to march in the parade.

This year the prade is being held on Saterday June 4th, 2011.  It will run down the Main Street of Brattleobro, VT then end at The Living Green Expo on Brattleobro common that will include farmers, food-producers and other sustainability vendors.  There will alos be food vendors and a small carnival for children.  The parade will include around 100 heifer calves adorned with flowers, then other livestock and local community organizations will follow.  You never know what the parade will bring with many floats and performances expected.  My alltime favorite would have to be the “Plastic Bag Monster” of 2008.

If you were at the parade last year you will remember Charlie Downey’s son David with the oversized hula-hoop.  He was a crowed pleaser for sure,  everyone was amazed that he could keep that large hoop up for so long!!

This years Strolling of the Heifers theme is “It Takes a Community to Support our Farmers.”  Downey Insurance Group is so happy to be part of that community, by protecting our local farms with farm insurance products.   When the unthinkable happens we are there to help make it right.  Without insurance most frams would not be able to continue their operations after a large loss.

This year preceeding the Parade on Saterday Brattleboro is hosting the first Slow Living Summit June 1st – 3rd.  It’s focus will be on growing the sustainablity movent .  Many speakers and workshops are planned with industry leaders.  This summit will definaly get things moving in on

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Start of the Maple Season for New Hampshire kicks off in Keene, NH

Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance

KEENE, N.H.—Maple season is under way in New Hampshire, and Gov. John Lynch is getting in on the action.

Joined by his wife and local school children, Lynch will tap a tree in Keene on Monday to officially mark the start of the season.

In the last few years, New Hampshire has produced between 90,000-100,000 gallons of syrup a year, which adds up to nearly $5 million in annual revenue through the sale of maple products  – Article from Boston.com

Downey Insurance Group in Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT proudly insures maple farms in New England.  Also don’t forget  Co-Op Insurance has just announced a new Group Discount Program for the New Hampshire Maple Producers AssociationThis discount can be applied your current Co-Op policy, or we can help you start a new policy if you would like to take advantage of this program. If you are a maple producer in NH and you are not a member the Maple Producers Association you can fill out an application on their website linked here: http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/application.html

NHMPA members will receive 10% off of Farm, Home and Auto insurance with CO-OP!   This is essentially the same group discount that the Vermont Maple Producers Association has enjoyed for years.  Thanks Co-Op for making this available to the great people of NH!  Visit our website http://www.downeyinsurance.com/ or call us for additional information at 603-439-2022 or stop by our office in Keene, NH at 45 Summer Street.

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New Insurance Group Discount for the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Business Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Co-Op Insurance has just announced a new Group Discount Program for the New Hampshire Maple Producers AssociationThis discount can be applied your current Co-Op policy, or we can help you start a new policy if you would like to take advantage of this program. If you are a maple producer in NH and you are not a member the Maple Producers Association you can fill out an application on their website linked here: http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/application.html

NHMPA members will receive 10% off of Farm, Home and Auto insurance with CO-OP!   This is essentially the same group discount that the Vermont Maple Producers Association has enjoyed for years.  Thanks Co-Op for making this available to the great peopleof NH!  Visit our website www.downeyinsurance.com or call us for additional information at 603-439-2022 or stop by our office in Keene, NH at 45 Summer Street.

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Farmers Watch Harsh Winter Crush Their Livelihoods

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Farm Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

For Northeastern farmers long used to coping with all sorts of cold-weather problems, this winter presents a new one: snow and ice that’s bringing down outbuildings, requiring costly repairs, killing livestock and destroying supplies.

Farmers in Connecticut alone have lost at least 136 barns, greenhouses, sheds and other structures as snow measured in feet, not inches, accumulated while January passed without a thaw.

“We’ve had other challenges,” said Joe Greenbacker, a partner at Brookfield Farm in Durham, where a fabric-covered “hoop house” caved in and killed a calf. “But this is the most snow I can remember on the ground and the biggest problem with roof issues I can remember.”

Losses still are being totaled by the state Agriculture Department. Commissioner Steven Reviczkysays no one can remember a more destructive winter.

The Northeast is suffering through one of its most brutal winters in years, with cities all along the seaboard reporting snow piling up at a record-setting pace. Connecticut has been especially hard-hit, with Hartford reporting 81 inches since Dec. 1, compared with an average of 46 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

A huge storm that swept in from the Plains this week proved to be a tipping point, dropping heavy ice and sopping rain that coated or soaked into snow piled on rooftops. Houses and commercial buildings crumbled, along with farm buildings, which tend be older or less sturdy.

In the Northeast’s short season for growing, winter woes are no stranger to farmers. They’re used to having to, say, turn on sprinklers to beat back a late frost on their strawberries.

“That happens every now and again,” Reviczky said. “But this is a situation where buildings are coming down. This is way outside the box of what is a normal challenge.”

No human deaths have been reported, but animals haven’t been so lucky. In Northumberland, N.Y., 25 cows were killed and 200 rescued when one side of a barn’s 400-foot-long peaked roof collapsed Wednesday night.

In Connecticut, 85,000 chickens were killed when a coop collapsed and 14 dairy cows and the Brookfield calf were killed, including seven cows lost when two buildings collapsed at a farm in Ellington, Reviczky said.

In Somers, two horses at Lindy Farm were euthanized after being trapped in rubble from an overnight barn collapse caused by heavy snowfall Jan. 27. International trotting star Moni Maker survived along with 12 other horses.

A wing that was not damaged housed 15 pregnant mares ready to deliver in a month, said John Belskie, a manager at Lindy Farm.

He could not explain why the barn, which was built in 2000, collapsed while older barns remained standing. But he noted that it could have been worse — a few hours later employees would have been inside, feeding the horses.

Besides the loss of structures and animals, the contents of many buildings — seed, fertilizer and other supplies — have been ruined, Reviczky said.

Greenbacker and other farmers have not yet begun to turn to their insurance policies to determine what’s covered and what isn’t.

“We haven’t got that far yet,” Greenbacker said. “Right now we’re in the mode of keeping things together and making sure we don’t have further problems.”

Hoop houses — typically a half-cylinder of fabric or plastic supported by a metal skeleton — are moneysaving alternatives to traditional barns and fared well in previous winters because snow melted between storms.

But they’re typically covered by material that won’t rip, transferring the weight to the structural supports, said John Bartok, a retired greenhouse and nursery engineering professor at the University of Connecticut. Engineers recommend two-by-fours propping up the skeleton in strategic spots.

A 1978 blizzard rivaled this winter’s storms, possibly bringing down more greenhouses, he said.

But Brookfield Farm, established in Connecticut in 1723, hasn’t seen anything like this winter since moving to Durham in 1983. It has weathered drought, floods, pests and other problems well known to farmers.

“Now,” Greenbacker said, “it’s a storm every few days.”

Article courtesy of Insurance Journal.

At Downey Insurance we provide insurance for many farms in New England through Co-Op Insurance of Vermont and our other markets.  If you have any questions regarding your farm policy or if you need help filing a claim please call us at 508-485-0130 or visit our website at www.Downeyinsurance.com.

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Merle Watson Tractor Rollover Death Famous son of Doc Watson

Posted by on Nov 2, 2010 in Farm Insurance, Insurance

8 Feb 1949, North Carolina , d. 23 October 1985).
Son of Doc Watson, Merle died tragically as a result of a tractor accident on his farm in Lenoir, NC.
Here’s what happened:
On the night of October 22, 1985, Merle was restless and unable to sleep. Some time after midnight, he went to the basement, tied on his nail apron, and proceeded to trim some red beech paneling that had been misgrooved, making it ready to panel his basement walls. The saw blade hit an undetected fault in the grain and a large piece of hardwood splintered off, embedding itself in the muscle of Merle’s upper arm. He grabbed his all-weather jacket, fumbled around in the pocket for the key to his farm tractor, and left to seek help. Spotting a lighted house at the summit of a steep hill, he continued in that direction, praying he would not black out before he got there.

With the aid of the couple whose home he had come to, Merle successfully removed the huge splinter. His wound bandaged, but weak from the trauma and loss of blood, Merle left to return home. Tragically, on the way back down the steep incline of the couple’s drive, the tractor brakes locked, leading it over a high embankment. Merle Watson was thrown off the large tractor which then landed on him, killing him instantly. The life of one of acoustic music’s brightest and most beloved musicians was at a premature end. Eddy Merle Watson’s earthly life may indeed be over, but his many fans are convinced that he is now a member in good standing of the highly acclaimed Band of Acoustically Inclined Angels and periodically peers down with great pride on his beautiful memorial garden.

we would rather have Merle around. His legacy Lives on. See Below.

1985

Merle Watson dies tragically in a tractor accident on the night of October 23rd.

1988

Doc is awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

1988

The first Merle fest is held in remembrance of Merle Watson.

1997

Doc receives the the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton.

2004

Doc is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences at their 2004 Grammy Awards show.

and most of his music and his fathers can be found here; along with a wealth of history

http://www.docsguitar.com/albumdetail.php?album=12


and l;astly, here is one of the largest Bluegrass and acoustic music festivals in the country; named after Merle of course. I have attended this festival personally. It is highly recommended for its music quality and  Fun factor! check it out.

www.merlefest.org

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