Rabo AgriFinance made an appearance at the recent Farm Progress Show and I had the opportunity to speak with Chris Olsen, a regional vice president for the company.
Olsen took the time to tell me about the company’s goal of being a financial partner with growers. Commodity prices being what they are, Rabo AgriFiance recognizes the tough times farmers are facing. They have 15 region mangers who are, as Olsen puts it, “boots on the ground” to really get in there with a customer and sit down at the kitchen table to find out what needs to be done.
“The market is struggling right now. I think most operations have questions about what do we need to do differently right now to survive. Borrowed capital is going to be more used than it has in the past because commodity prices are oppressed and guys are looking for answers about what they can do different. So a lot of things we’re talking about right now are costs. How can you manage your costs? How can you become more efficient in your operation?”
Rabo AgriFinance does nothing but farm loans, so the company understands the current climate at every level of the organization. Olsen encourages famers to look at them as a different solution than perhaps lenders have been in the past– more of a consultant or a partner.
“Ultimately we want to sit down and go through the numbers with them and see what makes sense,” Olsen says. “What can their operation afford to help survive the current economic conditions?”
Olsen’s advice for growers is to get through harvest and then have a sit-down with your lender to talk about 2017. You can listen to his full interview here: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/FPS16-Rabo-Olsen.mp3″ text=”Interview with Chris Olsen, Rabo AgriFinance”]