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Agri-Business Briefs for May 10, 2006
Nationwide agent Jon Jordan honored at sales conference
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jon Jordan, a Nationwide Insurance Agent from Greenville, Ohio and Matt Jordan, an associate agent from his office were recognized at an agency sales conference in Orlando, Fla. as among the company’s leading writers of farm insurance.

The “FAST Track Conference” was held in recognition of top-producing agents in sales of new farms business during 2005. The group comprises the Farm Agent Sales Team, and the conference was designed specifically for the agent group.

“Farm coverage is a highly specialized line of insurance,” said Jerry Hillard, Exclusive Agency Sales Officer. “Only agents specially trained to focus on this unique type of business can provide our farm customers with important advice and counsel. Our FAST Track Conference recognizes the agents who have made this commitment.”

While more than 1,200 agents write farm business for Nationwide, only 37 qualified for the FAST Track Conference.

Together with its affiliated companies Allied Insurance and Nationwide® Agribusiness, the Nationwide companies are the largest writers of farm business in the country. Nationwide Insurance is the sponsored insurance provider for the Ohio Farm Bureau.

New Ag Renaissance Zone to spur economic growth in Scottville, Mich.
SCOTTVILLE, Mich. — Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced May 4 the establishment of a 59-acre Agricul-tural Processing Renaissance Zone to accelerate the expansion of Diversified Natural Products Inc. (DNP) in Scottville. The 10-year tax-free designation approved by the State Administrative Board takes effect next January 1 and will result in private investment of $30.5 million over the next 10 years.

“This expansion of a leading-edge agricultural research company will create jobs and spur economic development in Scottville,” Granholm said. “By partnering with our local communities, we are diversifying the state’s economy as we strengthen our high-tech manufacturing.”

DNP, a bio-based technology company, develops environmentally-friendly “green” products for manufacturers and consumers. Formed in 2003 by the merger of Applied Carbochemicals, Lec Tech and MycoSci, it has since renovated and constructed a 200,000-square-foot, $11 million plant in Scottville employing 55 people with an annual payroll of $1.5 million.

“Diversified Natural Products is pleased to be the recipient of an Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone,” DNP CEO Gary Mills said. “It will enable us to more quickly expand our Natural Health Division, providing approximately 94 new jobs at the Scottville plant over the next 10 years.”

DNP operates two principal divisions, one focused on bio-based fuels and chemicals and the other on gourmet, functional food and nutraceuticals (foods with significant medical or health benefits).

The expansion, to enable development of recently acquired cholesterol-lowering HEP-30 technology, will occur in three phases: polychitosamine facility, mushroom complex and mushroom processing building.

Established as an innovative economic development program in 1996 and administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Renaissance Zones comprise 152 geographic locations in 21 urban, rural and military zones throughout the state. To date, they have led to $2.5 billion of private investment in more than 430 projects and the creation of more than 8,500 jobs.

This farm news was published in the May 10, 2006 issue of Farm World.