In April, High Plains Farm Credit held stockholder appreciation events at each branch location. This is one of the highlights of our year, when we take time to stop, say thank you, and show appreciation to you, our customer-stockholders, for doing business with High Plains Farm Credit. The events were well attended and we trust that each stockholder enjoyed the food, fellowship, and time spent with our staff and your neighbors. For me, it was great to see so many of our stockholders. I know we missed a few of you due to scheduling conflicts. I want you to know, I am always available if you want to visit on the farm or at your local branch or outpost locations. We sincerely appreciate your business and are committed to helping you succeed.
On the legislative front, the 2018 Farm Bill is still being negotiated. The House and Senate Agricultural Committees have conducted numerous hearings and listening session throughout the country to talk about priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill. I would like to encourage each of you to continue to communicate with our nation’s leaders to ensure any legislative amendments being negotiated “do no harm to our crop insurance programs.” There is strong support in our rural communities from farmers, lenders and agriculture input groups for crop insurance:
- Most producers rely on crop insurance to qualify for operating loans they need to put a crop in the ground. Due to extremely tight margins in agriculture, regulators examining agriculture lending portfolios typically insist borrowers have crop insurance.
- Crop insurance is available to all types and sizes of producers in all regions.
- Crop insurance is a rapid response solution to disasters. Private sector delivery typically allows farmers who have losses and have met their deductible to receive indemnity payments in less than thirty days, while ad hoc disaster can take months or even years.
- Crop insurance protects jobs, both on and off the farm. Crop insurance enables farmers to rebound quickly after a disaster and allows producers to pay credit obligations and other input expenses, such as fertilizer and farm equipment.
Some sectors of the agriculture industry, particularly grain producers, are continuing to deal with extremely tight margins. Grain prices have declined significantly due to a decline in the export market and greater supplies in the U.S. and around the world. Managing tighter margins is a cost issue, as producers are unlikely to see a price solution to their margin challenges in the near future. It is essential to manage controllable costs as we move through our current agricultural cycle together. We work with our stockholders every day to help them understand their costs and offer flexible terms to help restore liquidity. Communication is key during this cycle, so please contact your loan officer to discuss your financial options.
Thank you Ron and Bill for your service on the Board of Directors.
In this issue of the newsletter you will see information pertaining to our new website, scholarship winners and the election results. Congratulations to Vance Shay, Kenny Gasper, Jon Herrmann and Danny Koehn, for being elected to our Board of Directors and also to the 2019 Nominating Committee members and alternates. Active Board leadership is essential to the success of your financial cooperative and we appreciate your participation during the elections. The Board, Management and Staff would also like to thank Ron Koelsch (9 years) and Bill Briggs (18 years) as their director terms expired on July 1. We are well positioned to continue to grow in the future thanks to Ron’s and Bill’s leadership and support.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be your trusted hired hand. Our commitment to your success is what drives High Plains Farm Credit every day.