Summer Fall2011 2011
FINANCIALPARTNER Business Insights for Higher Yields
For Your Family
INSIDE: CEO Letter
In His Own Words
News to Share
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Leveraging the Power of Collaboration
“Collaboration to create new value is both a challenge and a ripe opportunity for Northeast agriculture. You can count on Farm Credit East as a leader in these efforts.”
Bill Lipinski, CEO, Farm Credit East
• Produce value that’s relevant to customers
• Nursery and greenhouse growers need to rationalize production levels and price points to improve margins. Senseless price competition only benefits the Home Depots, Lowe’s and Wal-Marts of the world. Consumers will purchase value and quality.
• Leverage knowledge and competencies with collaborators • Make competition irrelevant • Turn their regulators into friends of business In my view, one of the best takeaways was the leveraging power of collaboration to gain business success versus traditional aggressive competition. This concept is very relevant to our northeastern agricultural community. There are numerous examples of success to illustrate my point. For example, many years ago, wineries in New York’s Finger Lakes region collaborated on the development of a winery trail. As you travel from winery to winery, you notice advertisements and directions to competitors down the street. The industry worked together to grow total regional sales and image, rather than aggressively competing for market share. There are many examples of food companies that take a partnership approach toward customers and suppliers. This creates value for both with better service, higher quality and added value, which ultimately brings more dollars to commodity suppliers. Cooperatives, such as Ocean Spray and Welch’s, have been great examples of this strategy over the years. It strikes me that there are far greater opportunities for our relatively small Northeast agribusiness community to work together for sustainable solutions than there are in rehashing the same old debates: • Large and small farmers need to work together on issues of labor reform, open space preservation and regulatory solutions so all can survive. All sizes of farms and business strategies are in this together. The necessary infrastructure
The Farm Credit East Board recently conducted its annual planning meeting. Our guest speaker, Dr. Vincent AmanorBoadu, from Kansas State University, spoke on the need for businesses to:
to support all farm businesses will continue to dwindle if we don’t work together. All farmers need feed and agronomy suppliers, equipment dealers, veterinarians and consultants.
• Dairy cooperatives in particular need to stop competing with each other and work harder at gaining market advantage and added value for their members by working together. Dairymen need sustainable prices to be incented to grow milk supply. The Northeast is competitive with other regions of our country, and the infatuation with asking the government to solve industry problems is a tired old argument. Likewise blaming farmers for inadequate cost control and/or being inefficient no longer cuts it. Retailers need to understand that a quality, reliable supply from local sources can add value to the entire food chain. We all need to rethink our partnerships with business partners, community partners and the nonfarm public. At Farm Credit East, every agribusiness customer is very important because there just are not that many to go around. Nationally, Farm Credit is building partnerships with nontraditional groups to help maintain congressional support for a strong government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) status. Collaboration to create new value is both a challenge and a ripe opportunity for Northeast agriculture. You can count on Farm Credit East as a leader in these efforts.
Creating Certainty for Your Family That’s what estate planning is all about No one knows what tomorrow will bring. But if you delay planning for it, you could leave your family with a mess rather than the proud legacy you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Why do farm families delay estate planning? For some, the mere thought makes their head spin. While we all know we won’t live forever, we simply don’t like contemplating our own mortality. For other business owners, estate planning raises issues they’d rather sweep under the carpet. Some worry that they won’t be able to be fair to all family members. Still others equate estate planning with the loss of personal control of their business. Such uncertainty over tough questions may be the biggest reason many delay planning, which is why even successful farm families still find themselves unprepared for the unexpected. Ironically, estate planning is exactly the process that can put these underlying fears and uncertainties to rest. By ensuring that your assets will be used to benefit the people you choose, good planning can protect your family from difficult, costly or even heartbreaking situations. Estate planning can ensure a comfortable retirement for you and your spouse, set a path for the next generation to take the reins and provide certainty for your farm and, more importantly, for your family. No one knows these facts better than Farm Credit East business consultants, who have helped thousands of Northeast farm families achieve their estate planning goals and add more certainty about their future in the process. Four consultants recently stopped by the Farm Credit East Coffee Shop to compare notes about estate planning, including Gary Snider, of our Mayville, N.Y., office; Dan Galusha, of our Cortland, N.Y., office; Steve Makarevich, who works out of our Flemington, N.J., office; and Jon Jaffe, of our Dayville, Conn. office. Let’s hear what they had to say. continued on next page
Cover Story Demystifying the process “Planning for the future should be a priority of every farm family,” says Steve Makarevich, who has helped farm families with their estate planning and business transfer planning for more than 10 years. Quite frankly, estate planning doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating, he says. It is a guided process to which qualified Farm Credit East consultants bring a good working knowledge of farms and a helpful, fresh perspective. “We break the process down into bite-sized pieces and understandable terms for the entire family,” Steve explains. “Nothing gives me more job satisfaction after a plan has been implemented than when clients look me in the eye to say that they appreciate what we do for them. They may have started the process thinking that it would be overwhelming, but the plan brings them a great sense of peace of mind. They know that no matter what happens, their loved ones will be taken care of.” Sorting out sensitive issues Any business or estate plan involves many factors: finances, insurance, legal documents like wills and agreements and — perhaps most important — personal feelings. Our consultants offer an independent, objective point of view and help to stimulate communication on sensitive family and business issues. “Perhaps one of our greatest strengths,” says Jon Jaffe, “is that we are not shy about asking the hard questions that others may not be willing to ask — such as about treating off-farm kids equitably, protecting a farm from an impending divorce or selecting a next-generation successor for the farm. We speak unemotionally with family members, which helps move the process along and put each member at ease.
“We understand the cycles of farming and farmers’ unique labor problems,” Jon adds. “We know that a will is not a simple issue when you have family members who want to continue farming and those who don’t.” Steve Makarevich adds: “We have years of experience working with families at the kitchen table to glean their objectives. We do not sell life insurance or securities. Instead we provide practical, common-sense estate planning advice. Our only objective is to help customers accomplish their objectives.” And from Gary Snider: “We have history with farm families. Several of us have worked with three generations of the same family, which means we have their trust. We speak the language of farming, so we put our clients at ease. They don’t have to explain the uniqueness of their business. And we can help farm families sort through the tough issues, because we know how to listen and ask the right questions to move the process along.” Not a once-and-done transaction While each Farm Credit East consultant brings his or her working style and personality to the process, they all have characteristics in common. For one thing, they all agree that estate planning is not a one-time transaction. “Businesses are dynamic and change every year,” notes Dan Galusha. Estate tax laws change. People get married or divorced or become disabled. Babies are born. Children return to the farm after college with ideas for improving the business. “After implementation of a plan, the next step is review,” Dan says. “One year from now and every year, we need to review it together. That way, we can help keep your plan on track.”
All Farm Credit East consultants share a practical, common-sense approach that takes into consideration the fact that estate planning is a life-long process rather than a crash course. We do not produce a plan for you to stack on a pile of papers and then forget until something happens. A facilitated family process What helps Farm Credit East consultants take families successfully through an estate planning process is the critical skill of facilitating family communication in an effective way. • Dan Galusha: “We first get a handle on your vision of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow We do a SWOT analysis, identifying the operation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That is, we use tools to help bolster the farm’s weaknesses. We identify threats, such as the cost of health care in the senior generation’s retirement. And we improve upon the operation’s strengths and opportunities.” • Steve: “We sit around the table with various generations to build a business transfer plan that defines each person’s responsibility. This gives each member a stake in the future of the business and an understanding of their role in the planning process.” • Jon Jaffe: “We balance the needs of the family with what can be practically accomplished. We bring in various generations, sometimes meeting with an attorney or other outside professionals.” Weighing health-care costs The 900-pound gorilla in the room, of course, is how
the cost of health care for the senior generation fits into estate planning, retirement planning and transitioning the business. Steve’s comment: “Health care is part of every plan. I discuss long-term care insurance with clients depending on their age and level of care that they can afford in coverage of nursing home costs.” Gary adds: “We have a moral obligation to help customers understand Medicare and Medicaid, especially for lower-net-worth farm businesses. For example, we discuss how Medicaid offers limited coverage and strict requirements for qualification. Quite frankly, it is a government program that requires recipients to be almost destitute to qualify. It is important for us to explain to our customers that Medicaid may not carry all nursing home costs or other long-term care expenses.” All your trusted advisers at one table Other professionals whom our customers trust are welcomed into our process, so that estate planning becomes a catalyst for ensuring that everyone servicing your business is working toward the same goals and helping you understand how your decisions are interrelated. Participants often include life insurance agents and lawyers. For our part, we may bring Farm Credit East tax specialists, appraisers or your loan officer to the table as we need them. Gary Snider’s description: “At an initial meeting of professionals (attorney, insurance agent, accountant and consultant), we give assignments, draw a timeline for when we can reasonably get this done and schedule a next meeting. The process continues until the plan is continued on next page
What you can expect to accomplish There are many tangible benefits of estate planning, some of which help to promote business health even in the short run. Here are some areas where a Farm Credit East consultant can help that came up in our discussion at the Coffee Shop. Kim Fesko Brayman, of Fesko Farms in Skaneateles, N.Y., said, “My family has had a true partnership with Dan for generations. When my dad passed away, one of my early thoughts was to talk to Dan, because he understood our business. I would be lost if it hadn’t been for Dan pushing us to take all the steps we took to create our estate plan.” Gary Snider, who works from the Mayville, N.Y., office, said, “We can help farm families sort through the tough issues, because we know how to listen and ask the right questions to move the process along.”
From Dan Galusha:
From Gary Snider:
• Based on the family’s vision for its business, the team develops a revolving five-year business plan. • We facilitate communications to resolve conflicts between nonparticipating family members and family members involved in the business. • We address the issue of equitable versus equal treatment of all family members. • We analyze if the business is profitable enough to meet its long-term goals by comparing business summaries. The team may then develop a plan to improve profitability.
• Continuity of the business is a key aspect of every plan. We help a family maintain its business legacy for future generations and its favorable reputation in the community. • We look at tools to minimize net worth erosion over time that may occur through retirement needs or estate taxes, so the net worth can be shared with the heirs. • We discuss bringing in an outside successor if the family does not have a successor with the ability or interest to run the business.
Jon Jaffe with clients Keith and Monika Mann, of Mann Farms, Inc. and Orcranics, LLC, cranberry operations in Buzzards Bay, Mass. Keith said, “Jon gets to the bottom of issues quickly, helps develop a plan and ensures it gets followed. You need all three components for an estate plan to succeed, and Jon has done that for us.” Steve Makarevich with Ed Brock, owner of Brock Farms, Inc., in Freehold and Colts Neck, both in N.J. Ed said, “Steve has kept a complicated estate, like ours, uncomplicated by talking to us in understandable terms.”
And from Jon Jaffe:
From Steve Makarevich:
• We focus on ensuring that the senior generation has adequate income or assets for a comfortable retirement. Some customers are so used to sacrificing for the next generation that they believe they can live on less income than they need. I push them to be honest about what they will need in retirement with a safe margin, so they don’t sell their retirement years short.
• To overcome someone’s fear of starting the process, we explain that the transfer of equity doesn’t necessarily mean the transfer of control. We discuss many techniques to move equity to the next generation without the senior generation giving up control in the business. • We ensure that the senior generation has a comfortable retirement by determining a realistic view of its retirement needs, including the cost of health care and how nursing home care will be paid. • We help families with a low net worth create an estate, so they can leave assets to the next generation.
Should we wait for the new
estate tax laws? The current federal estate tax rules go through the end of December 2012. But postponing estate planning until Congress decides what to do is letting the tail wag the dog, says Dan Galusha.
implemented. A Farm Credit East consultant acts as a cheerleader to keep the process exciting — because what we’re accomplishing is exciting! We create an environment of mutual expectations so the plan will be successful.” Dan Galusha adds: “As the project manager of the team, we ensure that each player has a chance to help the owner make choices about what he or she wants to implement. I ensure that we have consistent meetings, that no player drops the ball and that we can implement the plan before the customer returns to the field. Managing consistent meetings on a timely basis and ensuring that we get firm conclusions offers tremendous value in moving the process forward.” In a nutshell The summary message from all is the importance of getting the process started sooner rather than later. “Don’t play roulette with your life or your legacy,” says Gary. “Without planning, you are playing roulette. You may win big and you may lose big. Don’t be a victim.” “If you don’t plan, you will be the receiver of your estate plan rather than its driver,” concluded Jon. “I’d rather be the driver.” Ready to get started? Don’t delay another day. Call your local office to learn more about how a Farm Credit East consultant can help your family achieve its estate planning goals and add more certainty about its future in the process.
Dan’s thoughts: “You have to run your business first. You don’t want external forces to dictate what will happen. If you do, you’ve lost control, which is the worst place to be. Estate laws are a minor portion of an estate plan. The real issue is perpetuation of the business. You have to start today to determine where you want to take your business and then modify the plan for estate taxes.” Gary adds: “We have a moral obligation to help customers understand Medicare and Medicaid, especially for lower networth farm businesses. For example, we discuss how Medicaid offers limited coverage and strict requirements for qualification. Quite frankly, it is a government program that requires recipients to be almost destitute to qualify. It is important for us to explain to our customers that Medicaid may not carry all nursing home costs or other long-term care expenses.”
The sooner the better
“The key is the sooner a family begins the process, the easier it is, because you have time to accumulate the dollars required for the senior generation’s retirement without harming the future of the business.” — Dan Galusha When to plan
“Ideally, you want to begin planning when you are around 55 years old and your children are in their 20s. This gives you a 10-year window to transfer assets and management. At 65, you will be looking at retirement, and your children, at 35, will have gained the skills to manage the operation. We encourage people to take a leisurely approach to estate and management planning.” — Jon Jaffe 7
In His Own Words
Len Van Wingerden (center) with his son, Adam, and sons-in-law Brent Monticue and Ryan Horn. His son-in-law, Sam Smith, was out of town on business when this photo was taken.
Thoughts on Estate Planning Len Van Wingerden Grower Direct, Inc. Somers, Conn. Len Van Wingerden started Grower Direct more than 30 years ago by turning an abandoned gravel pit in Somers, Conn., into one of the largest and most successful plant growing operations in New England. Today it has 820,000 square feet of greenhouses, 100,000 square feet of buildings and 20 acres of outdoor beds. “We’ve been going strong ever since those early days, partially because of our relationship with Farm Credit East. They understand opportunity in agricultural business and are willing to help us take advantage of those opportunities. For example, when oil prices shot through the roof to $150 a barrel, it was not possible for us to sustain those increases after having just gone through a tough prior spring. Farm Credit worked with us so we could build a biomass woodchip plant. Because they provided the funds, we credit them with the fact that we could make that decision, which turned out to be the right one for our business.” A comfortable process “We have also used Farm Credit’s financial services from our very beginning. We turned to business consultant Gene Gouthier and loan officer Steve Rickenbacher to help with our estate and succession plans, because they are most familiar with our operation and are experienced with farm family businesses. “We attended their Generation Next seminars and spent about six years formulating and implementing a plan that we are fully confident in. I am not saying that our plan would work for every family, but it works very well for us.
“Today, about one-third of the business is in the hands of my son, Adam, and our three sons-in-law, Sam Smith, Ryan Horn and Brent Monticue. Tax-, management- and ownership-wise we are on a good track for the next generation to own the business without a big tax burden. “I have been pleasantly surprised that I’m comfortable emotionally handing over a business that I pounded out of the ground in those beginning years and seeing my son and sons-in-law take over. “We chose a method of transferring ownership where my wife and I gift stock every year in the amount allowed without tax consequences. In about three years, our next generation will own the majority of the business. A lot has to do with trust. I have to trust that they will follow through on the commitments that we have in writing to provide for our retirement. “Estate planning is about taking advantage of opportunities. I would feel that we were negligent if we didn’t research and take advantage of whatever means the government has put in place to transfer a business so that there is no serious tax consequence. “Steve and Gene understood how we wanted to move forward and agreed with our choices. Of course, Steve is confident that our next generation will operate a profitable business. He likes that they are budget-oriented. I was a seatof-the-pants guy, like many who start businesses. We don’t want to be bothered by details. We have too much to do. “The process has taken about six years so far. This is the first year that I was not at the table to discuss our operating loans for the coming year, which shows great confidence in our direction.
“I enjoy seeing the generational shift that is taking place.”
NEWS to Share
Winter Webinar Series
Two Sites to Stop by …
The Farm Credit East Winter Webinar Series presents information about critical topics for today’s progressive agricultural businesses. All webinars are live, free and sponsored by Farm Credit East’s Knowledge Exchange. If you miss a webinar, you can later view it, at your convenience, on the members-only section of our website. The winter series begins 2012 with the Dairy Outlook. Here are the details:
Country Living from Farm Credit East Offers more flexibility than traditional lenders when it comes to financing your country home, land or farm in quiet, rural areas across the Northeast. Discover the many ways that Country Living can turn your dream of living in the country into reality: CountryHome Loans, CountryFarm Loans, CountryLand Loans and CountryFlex Equity Loans. For more information, visit www.CountryLivingLoans.com.
Date: Thursday, January 19 Time: 1 to 3 p.m. Topics: A look back at the Northeast dairy industry in 2011 and a look ahead at the opportunities and challenges for 2012 Speakers: • Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis and director of the Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin • Karl Czymmek, senior Extension associate, Cornell PRO-DAIRY
Crop Growers LLP’s new website provides information on risk management planning and use of the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Stop by to request a quote, file a notice of loss or learn more about harvest prices or application dates. You can also pick up details by clicking on Crop Factsheet pages, where you’ll find details on coverage levels, indemnity price per unit and more. For more information and to check out its new site, visit www.CropGrowers.com.
Ag Views Photo Calendar Contest
We’re looking for winter shots, too At Farm Credit East, we think that photography of winter scenes around the farm, greenhouse or dock can be just as impressive as spring, summer and fall shots. So we hope that all you shutterbugs dust off your digital cameras over the cold winter months and upload your best work to our website. Winning photos will be featured in our 2013 calendar and on our website. We select two very different entries. First, we look for photos that show off the best of Northeast farming, horticulture, forestry and commercial fishing. And we also select photos that celebrate country life in New England, New York or New Jersey. Only digital shots are accepted. Contest rules and an entry form as well as photos from last year’s calendar can be found at FarmCreditEast.com/news-and-events.
Also: Producer roundtable with dairy producers from across the country on their plans for 2012 Register at: FarmCreditEast.com/webinars
Growing Importance of Ag Retail
Wine & Grape
Despite a Poor Economy, Agricultural Retail Operations Continue to Experience Growth Over the past few years, there has been growing interest nationwide in buying local. Many consumers are interested in knowing where their food comes from, and retail operations provide them with that opportunity. Consumers are able to go directly to the farm or market and purchase products straight from the hands of the producer. Of course, there are many Farm Credit East customers that have been doing a great job selling directly to consumers for decades, but consumer and media interest has increased significantly. A retail operation is any business that sells its products directly to the consumer. Farm markets, garden centers, nurseries, ag supply stores, pick-your-own operations, agritainment operations, wineries and landscape contract businesses are all considered retail operations. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the total value of direct sales to consumers in the United States is over $1.2 billion. New York is the second greatest contributor to total U.S. direct sales, after California, accounting for 6.4 percent of total direct sales nationwide. Furthermore, 12,549 farms marketed products through community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangements and value-added products were sold on 78,418 farms nationwide. Specifically in the Northeast1, the number of farms selling directly to the consumer increased by 20 percent between 2002 and 2007. Of the Northeast states, New York accounts for the greatest value of agricultural products sold to the consumer, with more than $362 million in sales, according to the 2009 Direct Marketing Survey. Twenty percent of all New York farms are retail operations, with nursery and greenhouse being the largest sector.
Agricultural Retail Benchmark Farm Credit East saw this trend toward agricultural retail and, as part of its commitment to Northeast agriculture, developed the Agricultural Retail Benchmark (ARB) program to help producers continually improve their retail operations. “The Agricultural Retail Benchmark provides retail growers with in-depth financial and operational analyses of their businesses,” said Erin Pirro, director of the ARB program. “By benchmarking your performance — against your peers, against your industry, against yourself — you have an effective tool to evaluate ongoing performance, manage more efficiently, and, most importantly, increase profits.” The ARB program creates a community where ag retailers can share ideas and gain valuable advice from other successful ag retail owners. “The ARB program gave me the chance to better identify the playing field and how Garden Time is performing against our peers,” said ARB participant Frederick Troelstra of Garden Time, Inc. in Queensbury, N.Y., and Rutland, Vt. Each business receives a personalized report containing its results as well as a follow-up visit from a Farm Credit East consultant to review results in detail. This personalized approach to business analysis provides owners with the opportunity to work on objectives and develop a personalized action plan on how improvements will impact the bottom line. “ARB gave me an up-close look at diverse Northeast retail operations and insightful, sound advice from ARB specialists. At Rolling Green Nursery, we do everything we can to make improvements that don’t cost a lot but still improve our traffic flow and customer count. ARB offered those types of ideas,” said Beth Simpson of Rolling Green Nursery in Greenland, N.H. Data collection for the 2011 season will begin in the first quarter of 2012, and the annual meeting revealing the results is planned for June. If you’re interested in becoming involved in the Agricultural Retail Benchmark, please contact Erin Pirro at 800.562.2235 or by email at Erin.Pirro@FarmCreditEast.com. 1Connecticut,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Robert A. Smith, senior vice president for public affairs
Farm Labor: The Need for Policy Balance As Congress got underway in January, it was predicted that mandatory E-Verify legislation would fly quickly through Congress. But dealing with immigration is never quick and easy. The passage of E-Verify is not likely in the 2011-12 congressional session. Furthermore the push back to E-Verify may finally start to move us closer to a compromise. House and Senate E-Verify Bills Legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress to require all employers to use the mandatory employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify). This online system is designed to ensure that an employee is a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident or an alien authorized to work in the United States. In the House of Representatives, Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) championed H.R. 2164, which provides that all agricultural employers would have to use the E-Verify system for new employees in three years. In the Senate, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced S. 1196, which requires all employers to use E-Verify for new employees in one year and employers to use E-Verify for new and current employees within three years. Supporters of Immigration Enforcement Advocates of stronger immigration enforcement argue that U.S. workers are available and willing to work on U.S. farms if farmers would pay more. Testifying in a Senate hearing, a representative of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) recently argued: “The underground supply of labor distorts both these market signals making it impossible to judge the feasibility of the H-2A program under existing circumstances. Those farm operators who are using the highest number of unauthorized workers are also enjoying the highest profit margins, while opposing increased enforcement that would tighten the labor market and increase wages for agricultural workers.” At the same hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked witnesses questions based on the same premise: Do you agree that depressed wages are why Americans are reluctant Financial Partner
to take farm jobs? Or that depressed wages increase the instability of the agricultural workforce? Farm Credit East Farm Credit East also testified at this Senate hearing where we strongly disagreed with the premises put forth by FAIR and Senator Sessions. We believe that an efficient and effective guest worker program is essential to ensure that labor-intensive agriculture remains in the United States. “We believe this is a jobs and food security issue. If, as a country, we fail to find a workable solution to enable laborintensive agriculture to maintain the necessary workforce, we will see another part of our economy (dairy, fruit, vegetable and other specialty crops) move offshore where barriers to entry for new agricultural enterprises are minimal. To some degree, we need to ask ourselves, “Do we prefer to have our food produced domestically with the use of some foreign labor or in other countries with foreign labor for all jobs?” Can we find a middle ground? Immigration is an issue in which political extremes have eroded the political middle necessary for a workable policy. Although it won’t be this year or next, we will likely see passage of a mandatory E-Verify program for all employers and tough penalties for employers that fail to comply. To protect our economy and allow for food security, E-Verify will need to be coupled with a workable guest worker program that allows: 1) farm employers to use guest workers in an efficient manner without ongoing governmental interference; 2) guest workers to remain for multi-year employment, not just seasonal employment; 3) provisions for current experienced workforce in the program. Farm employers will probably have to agree that workers need to leave the country for possibly three months for every three years worked. Better immigration enforcement with E-Verify and a workable agricultural guest worker program are not that difficult. Congress just needs to resolve problems and avoid political posturing.
FINANCIAL PARTNER is for the customers, employees and friends of Farm Credit East. Farm Credit is a farmer-owned lending cooperative serving the farm, commercial fishing and forest products businesses in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Part of the national Farm Credit System, Farm Credit East is a full-service lender dedicated to the growth and prosperity of agriculture.
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Support Farm Credit East Cares Thanks to each of you who attended your branch customer appreciation meeting this fall. Because of you, we were able to donate funds to many worthwhile efforts throughout the Northeast. That’s because each office donated $25 per customer who attended its customer appreciation meeting to an effort that supports its local community. According to Scott Andersen, vice president and branch manager of the Bridgeton, N.J., office, “We are pleased to help families transition through difficult times. From our branch, we donated $2,500 to the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center in Vineland, N.J.” After tallying our results, we are proud to report that our branches donated a total of $37,150 to 20 organizations, including Connecticut Food Share, Amish Relief Fund, Daily Bread Food Pantry, Friends of Assisi Food Pantry, Massachusetts Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, Southern Regional Food Distribution Center and Schoharie Recovery Fund. In addition, several branches donated to their state, regional or local food bank; our Riverhead office helped a local family whose child is battling cancer; and some branches donated their funds to the Farm Credit East Cares Community Fund, which is our way of supporting worthy local, state and regional causes.
$37,000 More than $37,000 donated to local charities
Branch manager Scott Andersen, CEO Bill Lipinski, Board chair Abbott Lee, executive director of the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center Tammy Morris and president Scott Herring at the Bridgeton, N.J., customer appreciation meeting