[EDITOR’S NOTE – Our new Ag Finance column makes its debut in this issue, courtesy of our friends at AgSouth Farm Credit. In upcoming issues we’ll explore topics like how lenders look at credit, the effect of doing business as a cooperative, product marketing, family financial planning, managing risk and crop insurance. We also welcome your questions about ag finance – just address them to firstname.lastname@example.org and look for the answers here.]
Farm Credit, a nationwide system of agricultural lending cooperatives, has been supporting farmers, agribusiness, and rural America for a century with reliable credit and more. What began in 1916 as a funding source for farmers who didn’t have a consistent resource of credit to produce their crops has grown into a multifaceted system that provides not only financing for farmers, but also for agribusiness and rural America. Farm Credit associations also offer related services like leasing, crop and life insurance, appraisal services, and training and educational programs for young and beginning farmers, minority farmers, and veteran farmers.
Farm Credit offers loans designed especially for full- and part-time farmers and agribusinesses, all at competitive rates and payments that coincide with income streams. Because its focus is helping rural America grow, Farm Credit is a solid source for all of agricultural lending needs.
Farm Credit provides financing for:
- Land purchases
- Farm and land improvements
- Home construction and purchases
- Production agriculture
- Operating expenses
- Living expenses
As a cooperative system, Farm Credit returns its profits to its members each year in the form of patronage. Patronage is based on the annual profits of each Farm Credit Association and thus varies, but the benefits the profit sharing program has to its members are significant. This year the AgFirst Farm Credit District, which serves 15 states, including the Carolinas, Alabama and Florida, returned nearly $163 million to its customers from 2016 profits. This return of profits effectively reduces your cost of borrowing.
Farm Credit employees have a deep understanding of agriculture in their area, so you’re in good hands. Additionally, many Association employees have hands-on ag experience and share a passion for rural living with their customers. This expertise enables them to understand the industry sectors they finance and provide financial products tailored to meet individual financial needs.
Farm Credit was founded to be there for agriculture through good times and bad, through fluctuating economic cycles and environmental catastrophes. We’ve done just that, and in the process built an unmatched depth of expertise in the industries and areas we serve.
To find an office near you, visit AgFirst.com.