A Missouri farm mutual that teetered on the brink of insolvency after the Joplin tornado in 2011 is now back on solid ground, says the state’s insurance department.

Barton County Mutual Insurance Co. has been released from the control of the Missouri Department of Insurance.

“Through an innovative arrangement with the Missouri Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, long with significant underwriting and management changes overseen by the department, Barton is now poised for a long and prosperous future,” says John M. Huff, director, in a statement.

 A Barton County, Mo. judge in December 2011 approved a proposal by the DOI to allow Barton Mutual and sister companies Gateway Mutual and Cape Mutual to merge into one managed by Missouri Farm Bureau, which is the state’s seventh-largest homeowners’ insurance company and ninth-largest auto insurer.

One Jan. 1, 2012 Gateway and Cape Mutual officially merged into Barton Mutual, according to the department’s website. Each was a member of Barton County Mutual Group.

According to the DOI, the three companies had combined premium sales of $29 million in 2010 to make it the largest farm mutual in Missouri. But it faced $48 million in claims after the Joplin tornado in May 2011.

Barton Mutual writes homeowner, farmowner, mobile homeowner, condominium, rental and seasonal, vacant and commercial properties.