The financial needs of farmers and ranchers are unique, something Congress recognized when establishing the Farm Credit System in 1916. This single act of foresight has helped ensure America’s agricultural producers have had consistent access to capital and other financial services for more than 100 years.
American AgCredit, the nation’s fifth largest Farm Credit Association, provides financial services to producers in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
“We’re a government-sponsored entity, intentionally structured to serve the needs of agriculture and only agriculture,” said Clay Popko, Retail Banking Executive at American AgCredit. “This structure and our unique source of funds mean we are able to provide long-term, competitive rate loans and repayment schedules that align with our customers’ income schedules.”
Another distinctive aspect of the bank is that it is a cooperative, collectively owned by its borrowers. Those borrowers elect the Association’s Board of Directors, who are also customers. In other words, customers themselves have a major say in the strategic direction of the company, ensuring it remains true to its focus on agriculture. This cooperative model also means American AgCredit is able to pay patronage to borrowers. In total, American AgCredit has returned more than $500 million in cash patronage and has distributed patronage payments in each of the last 14 years.
“All of this adds up to us being truly built for agriculture,” said Popko. “No other bank is custom designed the way we are to serve the financial needs of farmers.”
This dedication to agriculture attracts a certain type of employee to the company, those who have direct exposure to or a passion for agriculture. “Over the years, many people interested in farming or who grew up on a farm end up coming to work for us,” said Popko. “So we have a company culture that’s really agriculture focused.”
The associated expertise of the employees has direct benefits to customers. Team members understand the needs and challenges of agriculture, and can help guide customers to the best financial solutions.
“Our employees understand the finances, the trends, the history, and they can empathize with our customer-owners,” said Popko. “We speak the same language they do.”
American AgCredit offers flexible programs designed to help agricultural operations succeed, including:
- Production, operating and mortgage financing
- Short and long-term loans
- Real estate loans
- Equipment and vehicle leasing
- Lines of credit
- Crop insurance
- Specialty loans for young, beginning and small producers and emerging market producers
- Syndication and participation in Capital Markets financing
“We’re really good at long-term and short-term credit,” said Popko. “When you’re a farmer, you often need both. We can do an annually renewing line of credit or a 25 year mortgage loan with no balloon payments.”
With headquarters in Santa Rosa, California, American AgCredit has developed deep expertise and relationships in the wine industry.
“The wine industry can be complex, a complexity rooted in every aspect of the business, from the land up to the wine processing and distribution through hospitality,” said Popko. “To navigate the nuances of all those layers of complexity it helps to have experts working with you. We are here to provide sound, stable financing and guidance for this complex industry.”
American AgCredit’s commitment to be the best lender to agriculture includes serving all segments, from cattle ranches and dairies to row crop farmers, tree fruit growers and specialty crop producers. The Association serves customers through 34 branch offices and has expertise rooted in those local farm communities.
To learn more about how American AgCredit financial services can benefit your operation, call 1-800-800-4865 or visit www.agloan.com.