No matter the economic and global circumstances, preparation and sound planning with a trusted advisor can help farmers prepare to weather future storms.
With reliable advice, strong resources and superior technology and tools to guide an operation, Farm Credit Mid-America’s financial officers strive to stand beside customers through both good and challenging times.
“We are more than a lender,” says Ross Newton, a financial officer for Farm Credit Mid-America in Bloomington, Indiana. “We build relationships so we can stand by our customers for years to come.”
Building firsthand knowledge and understanding of each farmer’s operation allows financial officers to offer expertise, experience and resources to guide decisions on everything from pricing and marketing to crop insurance and purchases.
The best way for operators to make sound decisions is to know where their numbers are, Newton says. “We can say ‘Here’s where you are, this is where you plan to go, this is how we can help or what we need to see from you so that we can help you get to your goals.’”
Financial officers like Newton use Farm Credit Mid-America’s resources, technology and planning tools to help farmers determine their break-even point, allowing them to see exactly what their costs are and at what price they should market their crops to cover that cost.
“You can’t lock in a profit unless you know what you need to make that profit,” he explains.
One of the best ways to keep track of an operation’s financial health and plan for the future is a balance sheet, which helps both financial officers and farmers make strategic decisions about their operations, understand the current state of the market, and focus as they market their products.
“Detailed record keeping on balance sheets is one of the most important things I want my customers to focus on to help us through the process,” says Newton. These records ensure important inputs like how much they have in bins or input costs aren’t missed, making planning and marketing more efficient.
“We have the great conversations and the tough conversations with our customers, so there are never any surprises,” he says. “We’re your partner, through it all.”