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Church Mutual to sow produce for local food pantry

MERRILL, Wis.Church Mutual's mission to give back is in its roots. Backed with Church Mutual funding, a shed full of garden tools and a small army of employee volunteers, Church Mutual will grow produce this summer to help feed disadvantaged families in the Merrill area.

This first-of-its-kind garden for Church Mutual will be tilled on the campus of its headquarters on Schuster Lane and planted by members of the Employees Association in early June. The harvest will go to the Merrill Food Pantry.

The green thumbs at Church Mutual couldn't be more excited to start digging in the dirt for such a worthy cause.

"Church Mutual is built on service to its customers and community, and though we have grown to be a large national player in the insurance industry, we very much remain in touch with our hometown roots," said Rich Poirier, president and CEO of Church Mutual. "Growing produce for our local families and food pantries gives us a great sense of community, as well as a strong connection to the environment."

Church Mutual has named the garden the Daib and Fehland Founders Garden as a nod to its founders, Rev. Herman Daib and H.R. Fehland. Daib, who was a pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church, was the company's first policyholder and third president. Fehland, once a city mayor and hardware store owner, was the company's first president.

Church Mutual also will open garden plots to its employees so they can grow produce for other local food pantries or their own families.

"Along with our mission to give back to the communities in which we work and live, we want to support our employees in their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle," said Angela Bailey, vice president of human resources.

About Church Mutual Insurance Company

Church Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, as well as schools, camps, denominational offices and senior living facilities. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual provides a spectrum of value-added solutions that benefit its customers. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

  • A.M. Best Company "A" (excellent) rating
  • 2016 Ward’s 50 Top Performing Property and Casualty Insurers
  • BenchmarkPortal Top 10 National Customer Service Center
  • 2016 Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US
  • Futuremakers Partner, by Wisconsin Technical College System


For media inquiries, contact Dawn Bernatz, Director of Marketing Strategy and Communications, at (715) 539-4574 or

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2022 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.