Press Release

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Farmers Insurance announces groundbreaking ceremony for building expansion in Caledonia

Ceremony and Press Conference Signal Continued Growth in Michigan

CALEDONIA, MI – (September 24, 2009)— Farmers Insurance Group of Companies® announced a groundbreaking ceremony to build two new buildings totaling 364,045 square feet on the existing grounds of Farmers Insurance office facilities located in Caledonia.

The press conference and groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m., September 28th at 5665 Kraft Lake Drive, Caledonia, MI 49316

Special guests:
State Senator Mark Jansen
State Representative Justin Amash
Bryan Harrison, Caledonia Township Supervisor

“The groundbreaking follows the June, 2009 announcement made by Farmers CEO Robert Woudstra who stated the expansion is another example of Farmers continuing commitment to doing business in Michigan,” noted Steve Boshoven, senior vice president of Farmers Group Inc. “Thanks in part to an attractive incentives package offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), this expansion will create a significant number of new jobs in Michigan.”

Mr. Boshoven continued, “I’m proud to announce that the expansion will include a 364,045 square foot office building and a 100,000 square foot print and distribution center, and will eventually bring up to 1,600 jobs to the state.”

"Farmers' expansion is terrific news for West Michigan and the entire state," Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Greg Main said. “Farmers could have put this project in any number of  locations, but thanks to strong collaboartion between the MEDC, Caledonia Township and the company, we were able to make a strong business case to win this investment and the hundreds of new jobs that will be created. Under Governor Granholm's leadership, Michigan is executing an aggressive strategy to diversify our economy, and we are pleased to have an industry leader like Farmers partner with us to transform our economy and grow new jobs."

Mr. Boshoven described the architectural features, noting an atrium design will connect one existing building to the two additional buildings.  “In addition to a call center and offices, the buildings will include a print and distribution center, an award winning University of Farmers training facility and a branch of the Farmers Credit Union,” he added.  “We’re also using local vendors, including the general contractor, civil engineer and excavator for the project.”

A Farmers Hot Air Balloon “EXTRAORDINAIR” and a Mobile Catastrophe Claims Bus (MCC) will be featured at the press conference.  “The MCC is the cornerstone of Farmers’ claims efforts at disasters,” Mr. Boshoven said.  “It’s equipped with the latest communications equipment available and will serve in Michigan at storm sites.  The MCC serves Farmers customers with claims filing and also carries supplies, laptops and satellite phones for customers and non-customers alike at a disaster scene.”

“Farmers has been in Michigan since 1949,” noted Dan Schrock, Farmers Michigan State Executive Director. “Today there are thousands of Farmers employees, agents and district managers all across Michigan. These are individuals who put their hearts into making Michigan a great place to work and live.  We’re committed to making sure we have the best resources, training and job opportunities available to meet our customers’ needs, now and in the future.”

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