Sending a Message
I know it’s been a while since I’ve sent a message out; I apologize. I have been traveling quite a bit lately. The good news is, I have a lot to report as a result of these travels.
Today, I’ll start with Farm Credit Council’s annual meeting in San Diego. Held the last week of January, the meeting had a strong lineup of speakers from economists to industry experts. While their perspectives were different, most of the speakers said the same thing: we’re in for some tough times economically. Commodity prices have come down; input prices have not. Rising unemployment numbers could affect those operations that rely on off-farm income. Obviously, all of these factors are going to put extra stress on our borrowers.
I know I’ve said this before, but these types of stresses are exactly what Farm Credit is here for. While other banks may stop lending to agriculture, it’s up to us to continue making good loans to good farmers. We’re going to keep doing that. We learned in San Diego that FCA (the Farm Credit Administration) is increasing its budget to add more examiners to its staff, and I think that’s entirely appropriate during these times. We’re not going to help anyone by making risky loans…the strategy, as always, is to continue building a strong association so that we’ll be here for the long run. That’s what our borrowers deserve.