MASON, W.Va. — In late April, Farm Credit of the Virginias released the latest installment of its Ag & Culture video series featuring Mason, West Virginia-based Bob’s Market and Greenhouses.
Dustin Bowman, agribusiness regional sales and lending manager with Farm Credit of the Virginias, says the Ag & Culture video series was first launched in late 2018.
“In the two years the series has been around, the videos have continued to evolve in style and content to better achieve the original mission of increasing the general consumer’s understanding of the agricultural practices that support our food, fuel and fiber system,” Bowman said. “Although still in its early stages, not only has the Ag & Culture video series achieved its intended mission of providing a source of agricultural education, it has also played a role in supporting local producers and agribusinesses in our community, an added perk.”
Bob’s Market and Greenhouses was founded in 1970 by Robert “Bob” Barnitz and his wife, Corena. The business started as a roadside market selling fresh produce. Now in its 50th year of operation, Bob’s Market is a major specialized young plant producer, in addition to shipping finished product across the country.
The Barnitzes maintain more than a million square feet of growing space. The business, now owned and managed by Bob’s five adult sons and their families, operates through four wholesale market locations and two production and distribution locations.
Two of Bob’s sons, Scott and Bobby Barnitz, are featured in the Ag & Culture video discussing the history of their business, the life cycle of their products from seedling to customer, the rewarding nature of their industry, some challenges they’ve faced and the role of family and community in their business.
“Being able to call ourselves a partner of Bob’s Market through their growth and expansion over the past 20 years has been very gratifying,” Bowman said. “We take a lot of pride in the partnerships with our customer-owners. When you get to know the Barnitz family, it becomes apparent very quickly why they’ve experienced great success over multiple generations.”
To access the full library of Ag & Culture videos, visit the Farm Credit of the Virginias YouTube channel @FarmCreditVAs. The Bob’s Market feature can be accessed directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qammGowmRGs.
ERIE INSURANCE: Erie Insurance is adding gift card and gift certificate reimbursement coverage to the company’s ErieSecure Home policies in response to the recent changes affecting businesses across the United States.
The additional feature, included at no additional cost, would reimburse customers for remaining balances on eligible gift cards that can no longer be used at independently owned and operated local businesses due to business closures.
Coverage provides reimbursement for up to $250 per gift card purchased at businesses within 100 miles of the customer’s residence if the business permanently closes within a year after the purchase of the gift card.
There is no requirement that the business be insured by Erie. The local business must not employ more than 100 full-time employees. Reimbursement coverage is limited to $500 per policy period.
“In these uncertain times when so many small businesses must limit access to or close their physical location, many small-business owners are encouraging customers to buy gift cards to generate cash flow,” Bob Buckel, vice president of Erie Insurance, said in a news release. “We understand consumers may be anxious about purchasing a gift card to a business that may not be able to remain open due to financial hardship, and we want them to feel confident making those purchases knowing that their investment will be protected by their Erie policy.”
The coverage was automatically added to policies of new and existing homeowners, condo and renters effective May 1, 2020, and will be effective on June 1, 2020, in Kentucky and West Virginia.
While the additional protection was introduced to help promote buying new gift cards to help small businesses with their cash flows during the coronavirus challenges, it is not a temporary addition and will become part of Erie’s base ErieSecure Home insurance policies, Buckel added.