Leader, December 2020

Page 1


Message from the President Though our daily routines are still not back to normal, I hope you and your family are doing well and experiencing some progress towards normalcy. From a personal standpoint, I have found comfort in recognizing some normalcy within my own family. Having our children attend school in-person, five days a week, was a significant step in getting things back on the path to normal. Extracurricular activities like sports, band, piano, scouting, horseback riding BRIAN RICKER and dance have helped us to get back on the path to normal. Having Ohio State football return in October was another milestone that helped bring some additional normalcy to our lives. Of course, we all hope and pray in the days ahead we do not experience any regression on the progress made. Here at AgCredit, we continue to see things return to normal from a business perspective. Perseverance, patience, teamwork and hard work describe how we have managed the year so far. Those in agriculture know very well the meaning of hard work and the phrase “Make Hay While the Sun Shines.” This phrase served us well in 2020 as the AgCredit team worked hard to make the most of the situation at hand. Our team seized on many opportunities that helped our borrowers and area communities during the year. I want to highlight some of the opportunities that developed during the year and, through hard work, what was accomplished. Note re-pricings – With interest rates declining at the onset of the pandemic and continuing over the ensuing weeks, our team worked feverishly to serve our members by re-pricing over 5,500 loans and lowering loan rates. This equated to interest savings of over $9.5 million to our borrowers. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans – Our team acted with a sense of urgency and gained approval to complete

these special program loans. Despite the need to understand and follow the ever-changing rules around these loans, our team persevered and navigated through the program’s complexity. During a two-month period, 345 loan requests totaling $15.2 million were closed, which helped many businesses through an uncertain time. Growth – AgCredit experienced robust growth in the number of new borrowers and loan volume in 2020. The growth occurred in all segments of our portfolio, including the residential, farm and agribusiness segments. As of November, loan volume had increased by over $170 million, or 10%, compared to the same period a year ago. Despite the heavy workload, our AgCredit team found time to also serve and give back to our area communities. In October, our team shared the harvest and helped to distribute nearly four tons of canned food products to area food banks across the 18 counties we serve. We all know area food banks continue to have a need for food due to the pandemic, especially as we near the holiday season. Also, $95,000 in grants and scholarships were distributed through our Mission Fund. The grants were given to eight outstanding organizations. These grants will help our rural communities in a variety of ways, and additional details on the grants and scholarships can be found within this Leader. We’re looking forward to sharing details about our association patronage and financial results in early 2021. Despite the challenges over the course of the year, many opportunities to grow our business and serve our customers were experienced and executed. I am looking forward to sharing more detailed numbers on our financial results and patronage return in early 2021. We’ve been fortunate to return, on average, 31.2% of accrued interest in cash over the past five years and are looking forward to another very successful year. Until then, we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Winter Webinars Move your business forward in 2021 with our Winter Webinar series. Join from any computer, tablet or smart phone with internet access. Pre-registration is required. To register for webinars, visit AgCredit.net/webinar or scan the QR code with your phone.

Farm Record Keeping: Doing More Than a Tax Return Speaker: Bruce Clevenger, The Ohio State University Extension Best practices for financial recording keeping for your farm.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 7:00 PM Webinar will last 1 hour

Thinking Outside the Box for Profitability Speakers: Panel discussion featuring Roger Rank (Triple R Farms), Schlechter Brothers, and Davey Neidhart Moderated by Clint Schroeder

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 7:00 PM Webinar will last 1 hour

Planning for your Farm’s Future Speakers: Eric Brown, Legacy Capital Advisors and Robert Moore & Ryan Conklin, Wright & Moore Law Co. Tools for developing a succession/transition plan for your family farm.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 7:00 PM Webinar will last 1.5 hours


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PRESIDENT - Brian Ricker BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dustin Sonnenberg, Chairman David Conrad, Vice Chairman Deborah Johlin-Bach Gary Baldosser Kevin Flanagan Daniel Rengert Scott Schroeder David Stott, Ph.D. Michael Stump Michael Thiel


EDITOR - Kayla Laubacher Address changes, questions, comments or requests for copies of our financial reports should be directed to AgCredit, ACA by writing 610 W. Lytle Street, Fostoria, OH 44830, or calling 800-837-3678. Our financial reports can also be obtained on our website: www.agcredit.net IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE We may report information about your account to credit bureaus. Late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report. WHISTLEBLOWER INFORMATION Reports of suspected or actual wrongdoing can be made anonymously and confidentially through the SpeakUp Whistleblower hotline or online. All information submitted to SpeakUp is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. WHISTLEBLOWER HOTLINE WITH SPEAK UP: 1-844-850-6494 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) WHISTLEBLOWER ONLINE REPORTING: http://speakupAgCredit.intercedeservices.com We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We recruit, hire, train, and promote individuals without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, military service, or any other non-merit based factor.


Lora Second Harvest Food Bank in West Ohio Food Bank in Lima

Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank in Toledo

Morrow County Job and Family Services in Mt. Gilead

Cardington Food Pantry in Cardington Salvation Army in Marion


No Limits Out


reach Center in


AgCredit Donates Thousands of Pounds of Food To Ohio Food Banks BY KAYLA LAUBACHER, MARKETING COORDINATOR

AgCredit’s “Sharing the Harvest by Giving Thanks” campaign is an initiative that provides canned and nonperishable food items to the region’s food banks to help address the hunger and nutritional needs of area residents. This fall, they were able to donate almost 4 tons of food to local food banks in Northwest and Central Ohio.

Because AgCredit wanted to be sure to reach those in all counties they serve, a large donation of non-perishable food items was also made in Morrow and Marion counties. Deliveries went to St. Vincent DePaul and Salvation Army in Marion, Cardington Food Pantry in Cardington, Morrow County Job and Family Services in Mt. Gilead, and No Limits Outreach Center in Edison.

West Ohio Food Bank, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio each received a pallet (2,040 cans) of Dei Fratelli tomato sauce. Canned tomato products are some of the most prized donations received by food banks because they present high-quality produce in a shelf-stable form that is convenient for food bank clients and make fresh, healthy food more affordable. Tomatoes, the state fruit of Ohio, are produced in many North Central and Northwest Ohio counties AgCredit serves.

This donation aligns with the Association’s commitment to support rural communities, ag producers, agribusinesses and rural homeowners. “Our ‘Sharing the Harvest’ campaign enables AgCredit customers to help meet the basic needs of their neighbors at a time when many are struggling,” AgCredit Board of Directors Chairman Dusty Sonnenberg said.


St Vincent DePaul in Marion

‘The cows are out!’

Learning the law on loose livestock BY RYAN CONKLIN, ATTORNEY, WRIGHT & MOORE LAW CO., LPA



As I was growing up on a small dairy farm along a busy highway, I remember my dad losing a lot of sleep worrying about our cows getting out onto the road. For any farmer with livestock, properly securing and confining your animals is a major priority. Let’s look at Ohio’s livestock running at large statute and the implications for your farm. Which animals are covered by Ohio’s livestock running at large statute? The law encompasses horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, geese, llamas, alpacas and bison. All other species are governed under different legal principles. RYAN CONKLIN

Could you be criminally liable for your animals running at large? Criminal charges for livestock running loose are evaluated on a “recklessness” standard. Here, reckless conduct means a complete disregard for a known risk as well as the possible consequences of that reckless conduct. Leaving gates open for long periods or failing to fix fencing that has been broken for a long time might be examples of reckless conduct. Your county prosecutor would decide here whether to pursue charges under Ohio law. For years, farmers suffered from an automatic prosecution issue with animals running at large. Ohio’s update to this law in 2011 seemingly rectified the issue by requiring evidence of recklessness in order to prosecute. This means a criminal case needs proof of reckless conduct by a farmer before it can progress through the justice system.

What happens if you’re pulled into a civil lawsuit because your animals are roaming around? Here, a negligence standard is used to determine liability. Negligence involves finding that you owed a duty of care to an injured person, you breached that duty of care and your breach caused the party to suffer damages. For example, what happens if someone calls you to say the cows are out, and you jump into action to resecure them? And then, despite your best efforts, someone hits one of your cows on the road? In this instance, you have probably exhibited negligence and would be liable for damages. In a civil case, if a covered animal is running at large, Ohio law creates a presumption that you were negligent. You can defeat that presumption by providing evidence that you exercised due care. Back to our example in the previous paragraph, if you can show your gates, fencing and barns were all in great condition and that the cow “jumped the fence,” you might achieve a favorable outcome in a civil case. So, from a civil standpoint, it’s important to protect your farm and personal assets through proper liability management. Consider creating a separate business entity to house your stock or contact your insurance agent to discuss your liability coverage. Also, regularly inspect your barns, fences and gates for any vulnerability or risk for your animals. Livestock running at large is a real risk for your farm, but it’s one you can plan around. For more information, visit farmoffice.osu.edu for a detailed fact sheet or ofbf.org and listen to “Legal with Leah” as Leah Curtis discusses this topic.

Land As Your Legacy: Keeping the family in farming



Family farms aren’t just businesses; they’re typically legacies spanning multiple generations. Keeping that legacy alive is part of the job, and it’s often the most challenging. Waiting until you’re ready to retire or not having a plan in place when you pass away can put the entire farm at risk.

While a successful transition is critical to a family’s legacy, some farm families are unprepared when the time comes to turn control over to their loved ones. The good news is AgCredit has partnered with Nationwide Insurance to offer Land As Your Legacy, a program specifically designed to help farmers create a sound plan for transitioning the family farm to the next generation. Anyone, regardless of net worth, who wants a say in how business assets are handled after they’re gone should have some sort of plan in place. There are five key elements of a carefully designed transition plan: succession planning, business planning, risk management, financial independence and estate planning services. To start planning the future of your farm, the first step is to talk about it with your farm family and transition planning professional. Certified Land As Your Legacy advisers can help guide you through the process of fact-gathering,

developing your plan and putting that plan into action.


If you’d like a copy of the Land As Your Legacy transition checklist and or client guide, please email dwhite@agcredit.net. If you’d like to learn more about this innovative program, I hope you’ll make plans to join us Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. for a Land As Your Legacy webinar. We’ll be sharing more information as the event nears, but mark your calendar, and be sure to register at AgCredit.net/webinar.


With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, chances are good that someone will ask you if you’ve made any resolutions for 2021. Will developing or finalizing your family farm’s succession plan be on your list?

New crop insurance option offers additional financial protection BY CALEB DOUCE, DOUCE AGENCY, LLC

If it has been said once, it has been said a million times: 2020, you have been something else! In January, we were excited about a new year and anticipated the prospects that lay ahead. Then, March indelibly changed the course of the year in ways we could have never envisioned. Regardless, we have persevered, and God willing, will come out stronger and better on the other side.




Another concept we heard loud and clear this year is the only constant is change, and that’s certainly true in the crop industry. A new insurance option for the 2021 crop year became available on Nov. 30: the Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO). ECO will provide coverage for a portion of the deductible on underlying policies using the same expected/ final yields, projected/final harvest prices and payments as Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), but instead of ending at 86%, ECO will cover up to 95% of anticipated crop values.

depend solely on the crop value. Keep in mind that there’s a difference about how a loss payment is garnered. Underlying policies pay on individual units, while ECO pays on the loss of an area. ECO payments are calculated by the county average, so an individual loss is a possibility with no ECO payout or vice versa. The premium for ECO is calculated on location, crop, coverage type and the trigger level of either 90% or 95%. ECO is a subsidized product, which means the federal government pays 51% subsidy for yield protection and 44% for revenue protection. The coming year will bring its share of changes and challenges — a new presidential term, new hurdles to overcome and opportunities for growth. Looking forward, I remain hopeful we’ll conquer another year with the same success we experienced during 2020. For more information on the ECO program, please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop insurance website: https://www.rma.usda.gov/Federal-Crop-Insurance-Corporation

Enrollment for ECO coverage must be completed by March 15. There are a multitude of covered crops, including barley, corn, popcorn, soy beans and wheat, so be sure to check with your agent for a complete list. Buying ECO is as easy to do as enrolling in any other crop insurance program. When the election is made, ECO is simply an option on the underlying policy. It’s possible to elect both SCO and ECO because their coverage does not overlap. There are some other policies that can’t be purchased if ECO is elected, so be sure to ask your agent to discuss those with you. ECO coverage will mirror the coverage of your underlying policy. If revenue protection is the chosen option, ECO will cover lost revenue, but if yield protection is the election, ECO will cover lost yield. The amount of coverage on ECO will


An equal opportunity provider

Is now the right time to refinance your home mortgage? BY VICKI BAKER, RESIDENTIAL LENDING SUPERVISOR


When does it make sense to refinance your home mortgage? Here are some things to think through as you determine if the timing is right for you.

How does the new mortgage rate compare to your current one? If you think you’ll be staying in your home for the long term, your mortgage loan originator can show you the difference in total interest cost for the remainder of your loan period by comparing the current rate to a possible lower rate. If you don’t think you’ll be in your home for several more years, you should consider the savings in your payment each month compared to the fees you’ll pay to refinance. How long will it take to recoup those fees with your monthly savings? For example, if you plan to stay in your home for five years but it will take six for the monthly savings to equal the cost of your loan fees, it may not make sense for you to refinance. Of course if you’re just interested in lowering

your monthly payment for financial reasons, it might be a smart move. This is something your mortgage loan originator can help you determine. AgCredit offers refinances not only to pay off current home loans, but also to roll in costs for home improvements. Guidelines differ based on the situation of each particular borrower. We can work with you and your contractor to monitor large improvement projects.


Contact your local AgCredit branch office for information about a home mortgage refinance!


Everyone wants the lowest possible interest rate on their home loans, so when rates drop, mortgage refinancing becomes something many consumers begin to consider.


As the holiday season approaches, year-end is just around the corner. With each year-end comes the task of deciding in which year to make loan payments for tax planning. Following are tips to keep in mind to help you as you plan.

Loan Payments

• AgCredit branches will close 2020 business at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31. » Payments received after this time will be credited in 2021. » We encourage you to make payments before Dec. 31 and specify how you would like them applied. » Please consider mail time. Payments are effective when they are received and not by the check or postmark date. • AccountAccess payments prior to the daily cut-off time will post to your account the next business day. » The cut-off time is generally 2:30 p.m., but it may be earlier. AccountAccess provides the actual cut-off time.


• Form 1099-INT – Interest Income Shows interest of $10 or more earned on funds in escrow (funds held) and/ or Voluntary Advanced Conditional Payment Account (VACP or Reserve Account).

• Form 1099-DIV – Dividends and Distributions Shows dividends of $10 or more earned on Class A Preferred stock.

• Form 1099 PATR – Taxable Distributions Received from Cooperatives Shows the amount of taxable patronage you received by either check or notice. Any patronage refund and disbursement of allocated equities is at the discretion of the Board of Directors. The taxable patronage for 2020 is your 2019 cash patronage that was distributed in late March or early April.

Member Summary Statements

• You can pay all or a portion of your accrued interest in 2020 and get credit for 2020.

AgCredit mails summary statements to each borrowing entity at the end of January, but they are available on AccountAccess in mid-January. These statements are informational in nature and are not sent to the IRS.

» The staff at your local AgCredit branch can help you to determine the amount.

Your member summary statement shows beginning and ending loan balances, interest paid, fees paid, stock and allocated equity balances.

• You can pay your Jan. 1 mortgage loan payment before the close of business in 2020 and get credit for the interest in 2020. » You cannot use escrow (funds held) interest credit to pay a portion of the payment and get credit in 2020. AGCREDIT LEADER DECEMBER 2020

person (an entity using a Social Security number). Any interest refinanced or paid with funds from another loan is not reported.


You can conveniently manage your account information anytime from anywhere with AccountAccess. • Free, 24/7 access to your account.

• Interest paid during 2020 on your loans secured by real estate will appear on IRS Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement or your annual statement.

• Quicker availability of IRS tax forms and the member summary statement.

• Consult with your tax preparer on interest deduction tax reporting.

• See loan balances, activity, interest paid, billing statements and more.

Reviewing 2020 Payments Through AccountAccess

• Avoid late fees. Your payment is posted as soon as the next business day.

You can help ensure the accuracy of your loan transactions for 2020 through AccountAccess. Doing this before Dec. 31 will give you time to notify the office and allows time to make the changes in 2020. This will help ensure that your tax and other annual statements are correct.

IRS Informational Returns

We report informational returns under the person or entity listed as the primary borrower for the borrowing entity. Statements are available on AccountAccess in mid-January. Paper forms, along with your Member Summary Statement, will be mailed in late January.

• Form 1098 – Mortgage Interest Statements Shows interest paid for any loan secured by real property and made to a

• Request draws on your line of credit and make loan payments.

• Link up to three checking or savings accounts to make your payment. • Download our free mobile banking app to your smart phone from the Apple App store or the Google Play store. Search for AgCredit Mobile. If you’d like to sign up for AccountAccess or if you’ve forgotten your password, please call 1-844-275-9534 or email AASupport@farmcredit.net. Finally, as we approach the end of the year, remember to jot down your inventories and other information to complete a balance sheet and income statement in preparation for the financial analysis of your business. If you need help with this process, contact your AgCredit team. Thank you for choosing to do business with us! All of us at AgCredit wish you a joyous holiday season.

Around AgCredit

Stay Connected with us! Email marketing@agcredit.net to join our email list!

Welcome New Employees!





Becky Keller joined the Fremont team as a Loan Processor in August.

Terah Thatcher joined the Van Wert team as a Loan Processor in August.

Akilah Briscoe began her career with AgCredit as a Business Analyst Trainee in Fostoria in September.

Jordan Miller started in October as an Account Officer Trainee in Mt. Gilead.

Years of Service Awards YEARS













Offices Closed

December 24 & 25 January 1 January 18 February 15

Christmas New Years Day Martin Luther King Jr. Day Presidents’ Day




Cora Dorman of Licking County is a junior at The Ohio State University, where she is studying agribusiness and applied economics, agricultural communication and agronomy.

Rachael Herring of Wyandot County is a sophomore attending Purdue University, where she is majoring in landscape architecture and horticulture.

Matthew Roth of Hancock County is a sophomore at The Ohio State University — ATI, where he is studying agri-science education and production agriculture.



Jenna Siegel of Marion County is a junior attending Iowa State University, where she is majoring in agricultural business.

Kacey Wilkerson of Defiance County is a senior at Illinois State University, where she is studying animal industry management and agribusiness.





Aubrey Peters started in November as a Loan Specialist in Bowling Green.

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Joe Leiser Memorial Scholarship recipients. Each student was awarded $2,000.00 to use towards their agricultural education. “We applaud these bright young minds at this critical stage of life’s journey,” said AgCredit President and CEO Brian Ricker. “Because these students will help determine the future of our nation’s ag industry, all of us at AgCredit are delighted to support them as they complete their studies and move into rewarding careers.”



Lisa Krill joined the AgCredit team as a Branch Operations Assistant in Paulding in November.


2020 Scholarship Recipients




Around AgCredit 2020 Mission Fund Recipients

4-H Camp Ohio, Licking County

Camden Twp Fire Department, Lorain County

Huron County 4-H Camp Conger, Huron County




Lucas County Agricultural Society, Lucas County

Miller City FFA Alumni, Putnam County



Putnam County Goat and Sheep Committee, Putnam County

Funds will be used to complete the remodeling project for their nature center and to purchase new educational resources for the nature center.



Funds will be used to replace horse and livestock stalls at the fairgrounds.

Funds will be used to purchase a rescue trailer and equipment for inside the trailer. The trailer will carry specialty equipment such as; a grain bin rescue system, technical rope rescue equipment, hazardous material equipment, ice rescue suits and equipment, rescue cribbing and emergency scene lighting.

Funds will be used to purchase stone to improve the driveway and entrance to the camp and to purchase polyethylene tables that can be sanitized to replace the wood tables they currently have.

Funds will be used to create “The City Gardens�, a community garden at the school to provide hands on education for grades K-12.


South East Ambulance District, Wood County

The Quarry Farm Nature Preserve & Conservation Farm, Putnam County

Funds will be used to purchase new pens for the goats and sheep at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.


$8,000.00 New Paulding satellite office now open! Located at 839 N. Williams Street in Paulding, open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30 pm. We look forward to better serving our members of Paulding county with this new location.

Funds will be used to purchase a Lucas Device which is used to deliver automated chest compressions during CPR.


Funds will be used to install trail signs and develop a virtual map of the nature preserve.

Stay Connected with us! Email marketing@agcredit.net to join our email list!

2021 Calendar photo contest winners

Cow Pasture by Valerie Wallis

Strawberry Pollination by Steve Polter

Soaring into the Sunset by Caitlin Trainer

Snow Bird by Teresa Maag

Wheat Breeze by Linda Bish

Little Sprouts by Tori Kirian

Crimson Clover, over and over…. by Vicki Orians

Ester in July by Valerie Wallis

Lambs in the Sunset by Deann Funkhouser

This One’s Mine by Craig Roth

Harvest from Above by Shane Vetter

Snowy Day on the Tree Farm by Alan Binger






610 W. Lytle Street Fostoria, OH 44830

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