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Providing Focused. Customized. Solutions.™ drives the FCS Financial customer experience. Recently, we hosted a focus group with about 30 young farmers to ensure we are heading down the right road when it comes to meeting their needs. We wanted to learn more about their interests, concerns about the future, use of technology and educational needs.

Daryl Oldvader, CEO of FCS Financial, kicked off the focus groups. “Why are you here?” he asked. “We want to learn from you.” He continued by explaining how he grew up in this business and has found nothing more rewarding than working with a young farmer and watching them grow. “There will be dips and valleys but I wouldn’t trade my 40 years of serving agriculture. Your future is bright,” he said. “You are our food insurance.”

[rich-callout title="Gary Matteson, The Farm Credit Council" image_id="2975"]“Remember, if your loan officer doesn’t do their job by making sure you can repay, then they are messing up your life,”[/rich-callout]Obtaining a loan doesn’t require any magic. It does, however, rely on building constructive credit. Gary Matteson, VP of Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs with The Farm Credit Council explained constructive credit and why it is important to you and your financial institution. “We have to figure out if you can pay it back, if it’s good for you and we have to prove that to our regulator or he will stop us,” he said.

A farmer’s capacity should match his goal. “Remember, if your loan officer doesn’t do their job by making sure you can repay, then they are messing up your life,” Gary added. Build a business plan and establish credibility. This shows your loan officer your commitment, your goal and the path you plan to take to get there.

The participants broke into workgroups to discuss planning needs, effective ways to obtain information, resources, communicating in today’s world, and community presence. Their responses will be used to build the FCS Financial Young, Beginning, Small Farmer plan for 2012.

Closing the meeting was a panel discussion with FCS Financial representatives in the credit, loan officer, marketing, appraisal and crop insurance areas.

Participants found the sharing of information and networking beneficial to them and their FCS Financial cooperative.
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