End-of-the-year considerations for the family farm

THE MEDIA would like us to think that the family farm is almost a thing of the past. But, we did our own research and, not surprisingly, the opposite is true. After surveying 530 growers who represent almost 30 different commodities, our team at AgAmerica Lending found out that over 74 percent said their agriculture operation is a family business.

Furthermore, we also found that 40 percent of growers definitely expect to transition business ownership to the next generation. The full results of this study can be found in a whitepaper published on our blog at AgAmerica.com. But, what exactly does all this talk about family farms — and the future of farming — mean for the present time?

As family farms look to increase efficiency, maximize on production, and save money where they can in order to secure their farm for the next generation, there’s a few end-of-year questions you should ask yourself:

1. Am I planning to expand the agriculture operation in 2016? If you answered yes, then it’s time to start mapping out the costs for that expansion so you can work with your lender to be properly funded.

2. Does that expansion also mean diversification? If so, then make sure that your lender specializes in the new crop you plan to plant. Lending expertise that extends into the fields you plan to work will help instill confidence and peace of mind throughout the process.

3. Am I getting the best rate on the land loan? As the nation’s premier land lender, we offer interest rates as low as 2.99 percent, depending on the loan product.

Running a family farm can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone. We at AgAmerica Lending have extensive experience in helping agribusinesses to grow and develop with our low interest rates, long amortizations, and outstanding 10-year line of credit.

This column is sponsored by AgAmerica Lending.

BIO: Donald Harden, the Relationship Manager for AgAmerica Lending, grew up in the cattle and citrus business, managing a family ranch of several thousand cattle and horses. He has more than 30 years of experience in the real estate business, and more than 20 years specializing in agricultural sales. Don has owned and operated farm and ranch supply stores, machinery auction companies, and farms. He has served as a director and on the board of the Cattlemen’s Association, as the manufacturer’s representative for ag equipment companies, and as a beef cattle specialist for a national feed company. Don has traveled across the U.S. as a sales rep. conducting seminars and fostering long-lasting business relationships. Don enjoys his work at AgAmerica, as he has never met a stranger. For more information, visit www.AgAmerica.com.

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