Ag lending advice presented at meeting

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Stephanie Tyler, assistant vice-president of FCS Financial, presented information on the basics of ag lending at the Santa Fe Agri-Leaders informational meeting Monday, Feb. 24, in Alma. (Kelly Melies/Democrat-News)

Stephanie Tyler, assistant vice-president of FCS Financial, presented information on the basics of ag lending at the Santa Fe Agri-Leaders informational meeting Monday, Feb. 24, in Alma.

Tyler stressed the importance of building a relationship with an ag lender.

"There are a lot of aspects to the borrower-lender relationship," she said. "You have to have similar goals. There has to be respect and honesty and consistent and timely communication."

In order for the ag lender to better serve members of the ag community, Tyler recommends they have a business plan.

"The business plan outlines your expectations," she said.

In addition to the business plan, customers should also have accurate financial statements, such as a current financial statement, earnings information, scope of operations and written outline; be open-minded for input; and have the ability to know and understand unforeseen risks.

Some things to keep in mind when looking for an ag lender are to find someone who is knowledgeable in agriculture, offers competitive products and quality service, has a capacity to meet the customer's needs and has a clear line of communication.

"No two farms are the same. Lenders shouldn't treat your farms as the same," Tyler said.

She also spoke about the five C's of credit -- character, capital, capacity, conditions and collateral. The lender would also be able to help with other financial records, like balance sheets and financial ratios, she said.

FCS Financial offers loan products for real estate, operating loans, machinery and livestock. Their financial services provide crop insurance, livestock insurance, life and disability insurance and appraisal services.

For more information or assistance with any financial needs, contact the Saline County FCS Financial office in Marshall at 660-886-6897 or stop by 1360 N. Lexington Ave.

Contact Kelly Melies at kmelies@marshallnews.com