When Farm Credit Mid-America, led by Bill Johnson as CEO, a Hoosier native, announced 2012 year-end results, another Hoosier was happy as well. He's Kevin Cox, Parke County. Cox took over late last year as chairman of the Board. The financial co-op serves farmers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Cox is in his second term, and first full year as chairman of the Board.
"It takes time but it's something I enjoy doing," he said at his home recently. When he's away, his son, Trent, who has joined the farm business, fills in. "It's good training for him too so he knows how to run things when I'm not around," Cox says.
The report issued recently showed that Farm Credit Mid-America earned $288.6 million last year, a 3% increase over 2011. The increase was due to loan volume driven by strong business activity in mortgage lending.
The co-op shows owned and managed assets of $19.7 billion, a 7.5% increase over 2011. Loan losses decreased by 34%, representing less than 0.1% of the association's overall loan volume. Currently, the report says, there are less than 1.5% non-performing loans in the portfolio.
Johnson believes the results were good for last year, especially considering farmers suffered through one of the worst droughts in 75 years.
One change since Johnson took over about 18 months ago is faster turnaround time in approving or denying a loan. He made it a priority, and shared that with Indiana Prairie Farmer in an exclusive interview earlier this year.
"There really has been a difference," Cox notes. "As a co-op we're making great strides on shortening that turnaround time so that people know if they will get their loan or not."
Almost 32,500 loans in 2012 were converted to lower rates as part of a program the co-op does to help customers. The conversion is much cheaper than the normal refinancing process.