State Farm Insurance was founded in 1922 by George J. Mecherle, a prominent Central Illinois farmer. Mecherle had been selling insurance for another company, and when he complained about the company's business practices, he was told that if he thought he could do better, he should go start his own company.

The company was founded on the notion that farmers should pay less for insurance because they get into fewer accidents than city dwellers. The company grew, and in 1928 it opened its first branch office in Berkeley, CA.

In 2003, State Farm has almost 80,000 employees and more than 16,000 agents. They service more than 71 million policies and are the nation's leading insurer of cars and homes. 1 out of every 5 automobiles in the US is insured by State Farm.

State Farm is a mutual company, which means that the policy holders are the stockholders in the company. This keeps State Farm's focus on the customer instead of splitting it between policy holders and stock holders because they are one and the same.

The Company's headquarters are in Bloomington, IL where the company has over 12,000 employees, 2 million square feet of office space, and nearly a half dozen corporate buildings and complexes.

Of special interest to folks 'round these parts may be that State Farm has finished very highly in the last few rounds of ComputerWorld's Top 100 Places to Work in IT.

State Farm has also recently entered into the financial services market with the creation of State Farm Bank.

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