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Banking Agriculture, Going Back to My Roots

After almost 20 years in the healthcare business, a single dinner conversation started Marcy Hubbs on the path to an unlikely occupation, agricultural lending. Marcy grew up in a small farming community in Tallulah, LA, population 7,500. Everyone she knew was either a farmer or somehow involved in the farming community. Marcy decided not to take over the family row crop operation, and instead pursued a career in health care. Marcy explains, "after graduation I worked in the healthcare industry for nearly 20 years in Baton Rouge, LA. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great career and I very much enjoyed the work, but the farming culture is something I have missed for a long time."

If you didn't grow up in a rural farming community it is hard to explain the culture. "Farming isn't about the money," says Marcy, "it's about the lifestyle. And that's what I was missing." Marcy refers to the work ethic of farmers, "there's no time clock to punch, but it wouldn't matter, you are responsible for everything that goes right and wrong on the farm. The work is hard, but it is a very nostalgic, rewarding, and honest way of life when you feed America."

One night after dinner Marcy and her husband were talking through the details of a lease renewal on the family farm. They discussed growing up in more rural settings and missing out on that way of life and the people that surround it. Her husband asked “Marcy, do you want to go back to farming?” While farming wasn't in the cards, Marcy missed being surrounded with those kind of people and wanted to find a way to make a positive impact on their lives. Having spent over two decades in a corporate setting, she wasn't sure how to get involved.

It just so happened that while she was thinking about making a life change she was also getting a mortgage quoted through a residential mortgage broker.

After completing the mortgage refinance and realizing how much the new mortgage impacted her payments, the thought struck. Marcy recants her immediate feeling, "this is what I am called to do!" She called her mortgage broker and to her dismay, no independent loan advisors were in the agricultural market. Most banks push their own programs and terms, while Marcy used an independent advisor to shop for the best terms and rates. This move will save her thousands in the long term. Amazed at how different the terms and rates were that her independent was able to provide, Marcy wondered if the same were true in agricultural lending.

If you ask Marcy how she got into financing poultry farms, she will tell you she is just lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. All modesty aside, there's obviously more to the equation. Marcy’s company Poultry Financial is making waves in the poultry industry with real world savings to farmers.

"It’s a culmination of many factors," says Marcy, "lowest interest rates in history, new banks entering the market monthly, and a large appetite for farm loans." Some farmers are simply lowering their interest rate, but the majority are freeing up capital to make investments in their farming operations to increase their feed conversion rates and in turn raise their pay.

Poultry farming is unique when compared to other agricultural sectors. Poultry farmers are better insulated from taking short term commodity risks than other agricultural operations. Using this information as leverage, Poultry Financial engages larger lenders that have previously not engaged in the agricultural lending market.

Many banks supply blended terms that require the farmer to pay off the loan, including primary residence and land, within a very short time period as compared to other loan types. These short term loans do not typically take into consideration the improvements the farmer has made to the farm and are mostly projected on physical age as opposed to effective farm age. All of these things are of importance but when you look at the poultry farm default rate of 1.68%, you see the opportunity this area can bring to a bank's overall loan portfolio. This is especially true if that bank is a large metropolitan bank with mainly commercial and industrial assets on its books.

The most frequently asked question: What is the difference between the average banker and an Independent Loan Advisor? Independents are loan brokers that shop multiple banks, rates, and terms on behalf of a buyer. As an advisor, Poultry Financial doesn't work for a particular bank and they are able to obtain multiple banking options, instead of pushing one particular bank's loan package.

Poultry Financial has a well-developed list of lenders, which makes the banking process easier and a potential borrower’s loan package more competitive. Having an independent loan advisor like Marcy on your side can save you thousands on your poultry farm loan. Marcy's pitch in her own words says it best, "We understand that constructing, purchasing, or refinancing a commercial poultry farm is often the largest single investment of our client's lives. We sort through hundreds of lenders in order to choose the right fit for our clients, maximizing their wealth over time."

"Ask a typical banker to help you compare their loan package to that of their competitors and you will understand our value as an Independent Loan Advisor", says Marcy Hubbs.

Marcy Hubbs, Senior Lending Advisor NMLS # 2143451

Article above from American Poultry Farmer magazine, c/o AmericanPoultryCompany,Inc
American Poultry Farmer Magazine

If you are a commercial poultry farmer, the magazine is Free! Get your free copy here: AmericanPoultryFarmer Free Copy

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