spotlight WINTER 2020
Financing the Future
Supporting the Dairy Industry, the Environment and Local Communities PAGE 6
The Post COVID-19 Food Consumer Resiliency & Agility Mindset
PAG E 14
PAG E 12
Spotlight WINTER 2020
2020 – 2021 Holiday Calendar
Feature Story: Financing the Future
andid Conversations: C Fulfilling Our Mission Community Center
Guest Article: The Post COVID-19 Food Consumer
Mission Statement Farm Credit West will ensure the customer comes first by providing superior service at competitive rates in a timely, professional and ethical manner, and by delivering a meaningful return on equity through our patronage program.
Who We Are One of the West’s leading agricultural lenders, Farm Credit West and its wholly owned subsidiaries are cooperatively owned lending institutions providing financial services to farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. Our offices are located in Arizona and California’s Central Coast, Imperial Valley, South San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley.
Board of Directors Chair of the Board Sureena B. Thiara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuba City, CA Vice Chair of the Board Douglas C. Filipponi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Creston, CA Joey Airoso . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pixley, CA Robert Amarel, Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuba City, CA Teresa Castanias. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dixon, CA
Dr. Kohl’s Corner: Resiliency & Agility Mindset
Mark A. Cook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Willcox, AZ
Craig C. Gnos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Davis, CA
Catherine Fanucchi . . . . . . . . . . . . Bakersfield, CA
Tech Watch: Protecting Your Data
rom the Farmer’s Kitchen: F Pumpkin Rolls
Tom Ikeda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arroyo Grande, CA
Territory and Office Locations
Mark Osterkamp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brawley, CA
Robert N. Hansen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hanford, CA Blake Harlan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woodland, CA
Colin Mellon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuma, AZ
Barry Powell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sacramento, CA Brian Talley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arroyo Grande, CA
Spotlight is produced for the customers, employees and friends of Farm Credit West. Comments and story ideas can be submitted by email to the Marketing Department at email@example.com.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Mark Littlefield, CEO
Reflections on 2020 As 2020 draws to a close, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect back on one of the most challenging years our industry has seen to date, the resiliency of our customer-owners and how this Association has worked to meet the challenges head-on. With the closure of many schools, restaurants and other businesses for much of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many agricultural producers faced unprecedented difficulties in 2020 to market, and in some cases even produce, their products. Adding to the challenges were lightning-sparked mega-fires tearing through Northern and Southern California in August and September. Farms and homes were destroyed, more schools and businesses closed, and a thick layer of smoke blanketed the West Coast for weeks. Responding swiftly to the nationwide shutdowns, in April, Farm Credit West became a provider of the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), the federal forgivable loan program for small businesses. While we were working hard to become an SBA-approved PPP provider, the Association contracted with a finance-technology company, Kabbage, to administer the federal loan to customers as a stopgap those first few chaotic weeks. At the same time, we created the Farm Credit West COVID-19 Credit Relief Program, a unique package of loans aimed at deferring and/or re-amortizing mortgage and term loan payments for up to a year. In another effort to help our customer-owners meet the challenges of 2020, in June, the Board of Directors took a historic vote to provide customer-owners a midyear patronage, an advance on the annual dividend paid from 2020 earnings.
The distribution was delivered to all customer-owners with eligible loan balances, across all commodities, and came at a time when many were still challenged to meet mounting operating costs. Most recently, the Association’s Wildfire Relief program has been made available to customer-owners affected by the fires California has become all too familiar with. Through it all, our members have remained incredibly strong and creative, pivoting from their previous plans to find new ways of operating in a world beleaguered by a global pandemic, shutdowns and mega-fires. We have taken our cue from you, and remain steadfastly committed to supporting you in every possible way. The year is not over, but we continue to work toward serving our members in a variety of creative ways. Later in this issue, you’ll read about how Farm Credit West became the principle financier of the largest methane converter project in the nation, helping our dairy customers meet stringent greenhouse gas reduction requirements while enhancing air quality and creating many new jobs. Also in this issue, we’ll share how Farm Credit West staff are working with representatives of our Native American communities to enhance opportunities for those who farm on reservation land. Finally, we’re committed to making your experience with us even better than it already is. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to improve our service, we’ve shifted many of our processes to digital platforms. As we do so, we’re carefully evaluating our customers’ interactions with us online, and modifying our systems to improve our electronic processes and communication. Stay tuned for more updates in future issues of Spotlight on changes and improvements to our digital service. Thank you for allowing us to serve you in this most unusual year. We look forward to serving you in the brighter days sure to come.
Financial Highlights Farm Credit West reported net income of $223 million for the first nine months of 2020. These year-to-date earnings are ahead of our business plan target for the third quarter. Also, during the first nine months of 2020 our average earning assets and capital levels increased while we also strengthened our allowance for loan losses.
AVERAGE EARNING ASSETS* (in millions)
MEMBERS’ EQUITY AS A % OF TOTAL ASSETS
NONEARNING ASSETS (in millions)
In the first nine months of 2019, total members’ equity increased $178 million, primarily due to net income of $223 million and an increase in preferred stock of $12.7 million. Partially offsetting these increases was a midyear patronage declaration of $55 million and preferred stock dividends of $3.4 million.
Our allowance for loan losses totaled $77.6 million (0.69% of loan principal and interest) at September 30, 2020, compared with 0.68% of loan principal and interest at December 31, 2019. The allowance is our best estimate of the amount of probable losses existing in our loan portfolio as of each balance sheet date. We determine the allowance based on a regular assessment of the loan portfolio, which generally considers recent historic charge-off experience, collateral evaluations and adjustments for other relevant economic factors.
*Average earning assets amount for 2017 was adjusted to exclude nonaccrual loan volume for comparison to subsequent years.
ALLOWANCE FOR LOAN LOSSES AS A % OF LOANS
Nonearning assets (nonaccrual loans plus other property owned) decreased by $18.3 million from December 31, 2019, or 14.5%, to $108.1 million at September 30, 2020. The decrease was primarily due to net repayments on nonaccrual loans offset partially by transfers to nonaccrual.
Average earning assets increased $627 million, or 6.2%, during the first nine months of the year. Farm Credit West is experiencing strong levels of loan growth in 2020; loan growth is expected to continue through the remainder of the year. At the end of the third quarter, average earning assets exceeded the third-quarter business plan target.
Customer Announcements Customer Appreciation
The Farm Credit West Board of Directors is awaiting future guidance from health officials before scheduling our appreciation dinners.
DIN N ER S
Customers will be notified of details in early 2021.
2020 Interest Payments
2021 – 2022 Scholarship Applications Now Available
At Farm Credit West, we are focused on the future of agriculture and actively seek opportunities to support the next generation of leaders through educational scholarships. Since 1994, Farm Credit West has provided over $990,000 to 265 scholars. Scholarship recipients are provided $1,500, which can be renewed three times for a total of $6,000. Scholarship applications are due
February 15, 2021.
To be eligible, applicants must be an entering or current college student enrolled in agricultural programs and maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher. They must also be a customer of Farm Credit West or the spouse or dependent of a Farm Credit West customer. Interested students can find more information at www.farmcreditwest.com under Community Support. If you have any questions about the scholarship program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help you achieve your tax planning objectives, we would like to remind you of your Association’s year-end procedures regarding interest paid on IRS Form 1098. For payments, the date received is the determining factor. ♦
ayments received by the Association on or before 2:00 p.m. P on December 31, 2020, will be reported as 2020 interest paid.
ayments received after that date and time, whether or not they P were mailed in 2020, will not be reported as 2020 interest paid.
ayments received after 2:00 p.m. on December 31, 2020, P will be processed on the following business day.
Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of payments in transit. For payments made from your Future Payment Funds account, the date applied is the determining factor. If your tax-planning objectives are better met by having the interest portion of your January 1, 2021, installment reported as 2020 interest paid, you must register an early transfer of Funds Held to pay your installment in 2020. Written requests for early transfer must be received by the Association by Monday, December 28, 2020.
2020 – 2021 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE (Farm Credit West offices are closed)
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Christmas Eve Day
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2020 FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2021 MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2021
MONDAY, MAY 31, 2021 MONDAY, JULY 5, 2021
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2021
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2021 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2021 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2021
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2021 WINTER 2020
F E AT U R E S T O RY
Financing the Future Farm Credit West Supports the Dairy Industry, the Environment and Local Communities with Methane Converter Project By Sarah Kearbey
IN LESS THAN A DECADE , California’s dairy industry — the nation’s leader in milk production and the state’s largest agricultural commodity — faces a daunting requirement: reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure storage by 40% by 2030.
Considering the industry’s 1.7 million dairy cows are the state’s largest agricultural methane producer, it’s an imposing task—but given the economic stakes, a crucial one.
Committed to its customers at the core, Farm Credit West has taken bold action and become the principle financier of a solution that not only helps dairy producers reduce their emissions and meet the state mandate, but provides cleaner air and economic vitality to some of California’s most under-served areas.
The methane is captured at the dairy in digesters, and then sent to a centralized processing facility where it is upgraded to RNG and injected into the pipelines of local utility providers, SoCalGas and PG&E. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses, many of which regularly travel the Central Valley corridor.
Farm Credit West has partnered with California Bioenergy (CalBio), a dairy digester developer, Chevron U.S.A. and California dairy farmers to build three clusters of methane digesters and upgraders across California’s southern Central Valley. The digesters and upgraders, built by CalBio, repurpose methane released from dairy manure by first capturing and then converting it to renewable natural gas (RNG).
Farm Credit West Senior Vice President Jonathan Kennedy has been working on the project for more than a year and describes it a win-win-win for California dairies.
“This project is good for all the stakeholders involved,” he said. “Cleaner air benefits not just agriculture, but the whole community. In terms of the dairy industry, it provides additional viable income. And the communities where
We’ve been adapting and innovating with our customer-owners for the last one hundred years; we won’t stop now. MARK LITTLEFIELD | Farm Credit West President and CEO
these [methane digesters] will be built — some are the most impoverished in the state — will benefit from good paying, stable jobs.”
demonstrating the partners' commitment to improving air quality in California in a manner that is economically viable to dairy producers, and supporting local communities.
The plan comprises 17 digester sites in three different clusters in Kern, Tulare and Kings counties. Dairy owners provide the manure and the site to build the digester, and receive a percentage of the profits from the sale of RNG, as well as renewable energy credits from California’s cap-and-trade energy market and the National Renewable Fuel Standards program.
“We’ve moved from a punitive environment in California — a tough state to do business in — to a new era where they’ve given an economic incentive to get cleaner air,” Kennedy said. “There’s an income stream above those costs.”
In addition to providing an elegant solution to the dairy industry’s looming emissions-reduction mandate, the project brings in numerous construction and engineering jobs to the state’s Central Valley, an area plagued by high rates of poverty and joblessness. The project’s first renewable natural gas production was achieved from dairy farms in Kern County in September,
The project is owned by individual dairy farmers, Chevron and California Bioenergy LLC, all of which contributed significant equity. Farm Credit West, in conjunction with CoBank, provided $50 million in loan funding. Additional capital and support was also provided through other agencies including the California Air Resource Control Board, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Continued on next page
Cleaner air benefits not just agriculture, but the whole community. JONATHAN KENNEDY | Farm Credit West Senior Vice President
Continued from previous page
Kennedy, who has worked for Farm Credit West for 31 years, says the deal was the most complex he’d ever worked on. Since a digester project this large has never been financed before, the underwriting process required many steps: holding numerous meetings with attorneys and real estate professionals; drawing up land leases and pipeline easements; drafting agreements between dairymen and CalBio; and determining the value of fuel and how it will be paid for, among other steps. In the end, the Association’s history of supporting local producers and experience with the dairy sector made it the clear choice to finance a forward-thinking project with numerous benefits to the dairy industry, the environment and community alike. “Our commitment to agriculture and to the dairy industry in all of California, and also the personal relationships we have with dairy producers, made it clear this is something we needed to be a part of,” Kennedy said. “Other banks may not have looked at it from that perspective.” Farm Credit West President and CEO Mark Littlefield echoed Kennedy’s sentiments. In a video recorded for
a virtual ribbon cutting in September, Littlefield said providing the economic engine for this project fulfills the Association’s mission to support agricultural producers and the communities they serve. “The California Bioenergy project allows our customers to meet their business goals, strengthens rural economies, improves local air quality and contributes to a healthy, sustainable future,” Littlefield said. “For more than a century, Farm Credit West has supported rural communities and agriculture with consistent, reliable credit and financial services. As a member-owned cooperative, we are intimately connected to the pressures and opportunities facing dairy producers today and it is our mission to develop unique solutions to help these growers thrive. “We’ve been adapting and innovating with our customerowners for the last one hundred years; we won’t stop now.”
C A N D I D C O N V E R S AT I O N S
Fulfilling Our Mission
Farm Credit West Staff Attend National Conference on Native American Economic Development By Sarah Kearbey
AN IMPORTANT PART of Farm Credit West’s mission is to serve all eligible farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses within its service area, including young, beginning and small farmers, as well as minorities and socially disadvantaged operators.
Warkomski noted that she attended other conference sessions, where she gained insight directly from tribal communities about their economic needs, and opportunities for Farm Credit West to potentially partner with tribes and Native American organizations to work toward potential solutions.
Establishing communication and relationships, particularly within the tribal communities in Arizona and California is key to learning more about the opportunities and challenges facing the Native American farmer.
“We want to know: What is the real need?” she said. “That was the overarching goal — education on both sides.”
That’s why earlier this year, Farm Credit West Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriter Denise Warkomski participated in a national conference on Native American economic development to exchange information about how agriculture can benefit tribal communities. The Reservation Economic Summit (RES) Conference is the nation’s largest and longest-running Native American business event, according to its host, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Held in Las Vegas each spring, the event is attended by more than 4,000 Native Americans and tribal representatives from across the U.S. and Canada and features presentations by respected tribal leaders, elected officials and top CEOs. For the first time in the conference’s history, agriculture was featured as a breakout topic, signaling the industry’s increasing importance in Native American economics. Warkomski participated in panels in conjunction with representatives from Native American agriculture organizations and others in the agricultural finance arena to discuss ways to assist Native American communities in making agriculture a viable revenue and food source for tribes. “Our goal in attending RES and presenting on the panel was as much an education for us as it was to convey financing information from Farm Credit West to the tribal communities and leaders,” Warkomski said. “We can make some broad assumptions about tribal communities, aligning with one of our mission tenets of focusing on underserved communities, but until we talk with them and hear what they’re experiencing in their communities, we really don’t know. This was one of our first efforts at broader exposure to that topic.”
Pete Huffine, Farm Credit West Chief Lending Officer, and Chris Brumfield, Farm Credit West General Counsel, have met with key contacts in Congress who have significant tribal communities as part of their constituents to gain a better perspective on tribal issues relating to agriculture. Brumfield also attended the RES conference and said it was an important learning experience for those on both sides of the panel. “Agriculture can be an additional area of economic opportunity for tribes and offer diversification from traditional revenue sources,” Brumfield said. “There’s a desire to learn more about how agriculture can benefit a tribe, and how Farm Credit West can assist in the development of sustainable agricultural production.” Huffine added that gathering information about agricultural issues facing tribal communities is the first step toward better serving those producers. “Our job is to make contacts and to understand the need in terms of financing, lending and education, and how they impact various tribes and their agricultural operations,” Huffine said. For Brumfield, having agriculture included in the RES conference represents a significant shift toward the industry as a more reliable source of income for tribal nations. “I think it shows a heightened awareness of the importance of farming to Native American communities,” he said. “One takeaway is that ag is on the rise as a critical part of the economy for the Native American tribes. We want to explore what we can do to support and enhance their opportunities.”
Disabled Air Force Veteran Can Manage Livestock Thanks to Farm Credit Grant
fter leaving the Air Force in 2012 with a service-connected disability, Robert Barnett was looking for a career as he began gardening at his familyâ€™s home in Ventura. Since then, Barnett decided to raise sheep for meat production, and his operation has grown and expanded over the years. Thanks to a Farmer Veteran Coalition grant funded by Farm Credit, Barnett was able to purchase new equipment to manage and care for his growing flock. Farm Credit proudly supports the Farmer
Veteran Coalition, which mobilizes veterans to feed America. The Coalition cultivates a new generation of farmers and food leaders and provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming and ranching. These funds make a crucial difference in the launch of farm businesses, like Barnettâ€™s, and help them to thrive for years to come. Pictured: Robert Barnett on his sheep farm operation.
Yolo Food Bank Grants New Warehouse Naming Rights to Farm Credit West Last year, Farm Credit West partnered with CoBank to donate $50,000 to the Yolo County Food Bank and fight to end food insecurity in Yolo County. Since then, Yolo Food Bank has been able to construct a new warehouse, which will be named after Farm Credit West and CoBank. Compared to a year ago, Yolo Food Bank has seen an almost three-fold increase in demand for food assistance, primarily driven by community members who are requiring food assistance for the first time. This new warehouse has been instrumental in helping the Yolo Food Bank meet the new demand and distribute 900,000 pounds or more of nutritious food countywide per month. Farm Credit West is proud to support these important causes and provide relief to these communities as needs arise.
Look for Farm Credit West at
Upcoming Virtual Events
DECEMBER 6 –9
California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting DECEMBER 8–10
Almond Conference DECEMBER 10, JANUARY 14 & FEBRUARY 11
Latino Farmer Conference Each year, Farm Credit West looks forward to attending and supporting industry conferences. However, ongoing social distancing protocols have prevented us from gathering in the same ways we have in the past. We commend our association partners for being creative and restructuring some of our favorite annual events to keep all attendees safe. We are excited to support the following virtual events. If you are attending any of these events, please reach out and visit our Farm Credit West virtual exhibits.
California Women of Agriculture Convention JANUARY 20 –23
Ecological Farming Association Conference JANUARY 26 –29
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium FEBRUARY 9 –10
California League of Food Processors MARCH 14–16
California Fresh Fruit Association Annual Meeting
Farm Credit West Supports Virtual Read with a Farmer Event In celebration of National Read a Book Day, Farm Credit West sponsored the third annual Imperial County Read with a Farmer event. This year, the event was held virtually, and farmers read books about agriculture from their farms. From his alfalfa field, Brent Ashurst, a fourth-generation beekeeper, read The Beeman by Laurie Krebs, which was recorded and made available for classrooms to present for students, along with a supplemental educator’s guide. Programs such as Read with a Farmer teach young students more about where their food is grown and open the door to future career opportunities in agriculture to the next generation. Pictured: Brent Ashurst reads The Beeman to students, virtually.
The Post COVID-19 Food Consumer At-Home, Online & Frugal By Tanner Ehmke, Manager, Knowledge Exchange Division, CoBank ACB
COVID-19 has turned food and agriculture supply chains upside down with growers of perishable agricultural products having had a front-row seat to the upheaval. What can growers, food processors, retail grocers and the food service sector expect in a post-COVID world? Epidemiologists widely expect a successful vaccine to be developed, tested and deployed across the U.S. no earlier than late summer 2021. Consumers by then will have developed new food purchasing habits to adapt to an economy permanently altered by the pandemic.
Tens of thousands of restaurants across the U.S. have closed permanently with consumers shifting the majority of their food purchases to at-home consumption versus awayfrom-home, according to USDA-ERS. (See graph at right.) At-home food purchases now account for 54% of all food consumption — the highest since 2013. It may take years for consumers to return to the levels of away-from-home food spending seen pre-COVID, despite economic growth. Regaining confidence in public gatherings will take time for many consumers, raising the uncertainty of the pace of recovery in on-premises food service. For growers of perishable products like fresh produce and dairy, this means the recovery of customers in the food
service sector will be a marathon, and realignment of supply chains to retail will be a long-term reality. Grocery retail will likely remain the dominant channel for the foreseeable future. Existing trends of increasing online grocery shopping were also accelerated in the pandemic. After spending several months of shopping for groceries and ordering takeout online, consumers, grocers and restaurants will have become comfortable with online channels. Data and market intelligence firm IRI found 25% of consumers bought dairy online in June and July, with the majority being first-time online shoppers, and about 70% of survey respondents said they will continue to shop online. For growers of fresh produce, the rise of online shopping poses a challenge and an opportunity of enticing consumers to try new or local produce without having the full sensory experience of physically being in the produce aisle. According to a survey of produce buyers conducted by Moxxy Marketing in August, 43% of respondents noted
the importance of visual appeal (i.e., displays, packaging and photography) of produce purchased, highlighting the importance of visuals in online and social media. The economic trauma for workers laid off and struggling to return to the workforce unfortunately will also mean there will be a large segment of financially stressed consumers looking for value food purchases. For millions of workers who have now experienced long-term unemployment twice in the last 12 years, penny pinching may become a way of life regardless of their future employment status — mirroring the lifetime of frugality embraced by survivors of the Great Depression in the 1930s. For these cost-conscious consumers, volume food purchases at low-cost retail outlets may be the norm for decades to come. Economists across the nation are keeping a close eye on these trends and what the pandemic holds for the American customer in the coming months. This unusual time undoubtedly marks a defining moment in the history of the modern-day consumer.
Monthly Sales of Food: At-Home vs. Away-from-Home
DATA SOURCE: Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
D R . KO H Lâ€™ S C O R N E R
Resiliency & Agility Mindset By Dr. David M. Kohl
The pandemic is now into its ninth month of fury in the U.S. and many other parts of the globe. Even those with a stern constitution have remarked that this black swan event is challenging. Analogous to the movie Groundhog Day, in which events and outcomes repeat over and over, the COVID-19 pandemic is manifested by the media and general society to dramatize outcomes and headlines.
ow does one develop actionable steps for building resiliency and agility for the business and the people involved in the business? First, let's examine the business strategies and actions. One of the first steps is to reevaluate your goals to establish balanced goals. Both short- and long-term goals should be in writing and apply to the business, family and personal life. Written goals require one to focus and commit energy to specific outcomes. Control the controllable variables and manage around the uncontrollable ones. A goal setting session can develop energy, start crucial conversations and improve communication, which are all even more critical in an economically stressed environment. Another action item is to develop and monitor your cash flows and income statements on a monthly or quarterly basis. This allows you to make modifications to expenses or revenues in the game plan as conditions change. Cash flow is 80% of the business plan because assumptions are often
required for production, price and costs used to develop financials and the timing of inflows and outflows. Some individuals indicate that a projected cash flow cannot be developed during a black swan event or unpredictable environment; however, this is when sensitivity testing comes into play to analyze the changes in price, cost and production to provide the boundaries of possibilities. A special strategy for 2020 and beyond is to examine your business model after the government supports, payments, stimulus programs and unemployment checks are exhausted. How will your business be financially resilient if the government assistance is reduced or, in a worstcase scenario, is nonexistent? Use your financial statements to develop questions that make you think through unintended consequences and various actions. On the personal side, a family living budget is of equal importance to the farm budget. One point to consider is that every $1 cut from the family living budget is equal to $1.25 to $1.50 of net farm income because withdrawals are
often on an after-tax basis. In addition, the “miscellaneous and other” expense category may be a budget buster if it is more than 10% of the total withdrawals.
positive habits that lead to life balance for yourself. Take time to meditate. Shut down the drama, hear the silence and find your platform for peace.
Moving to the personal side of the mindset, take time during this challenging period to build your business IQ. Some agriculture organizations are offering programs in these areas, which can be a refresher for some, but also a foundation for others who have not had the background or training. The personal side can also be enhanced with the term “meds for life.” Simply put, there is no magic pill or overnight elixir that is a cure-all. It is about developing
Next, exercise the mind, body and spirit. A good walk, jogging or gardening can generate positive endorphins. Take time to read a book, watch a motivational video or participate in an activity to uplift your spirits to improve your work-life balance. Watch your diet, but also take part in the occasional culinary guilty pleasure. Attempt to replenish your body through sleep and power naps during the day.
Dr. David Kohl energizes agricultural lenders, producers and business professionals with his keen insight into the agricultural industry through extensive travel, research and networking around the globe. He is a Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Finally, finding a positive support network consisting of people who listen intently and encourage you can be very uplifting. Spending time with your favorite dog, cow or horse can be therapeutic as well. Whatever you endeavor in life, follow a routine that implements these activities in your business, family and personal life. A resiliency and agility mindset can provide a rewarding journey that results in much more than dollar signs.
Dr. Kohl has traveled over 9 million miles in his career and conducted over 6,000 workshops and seminars for a variety of agricultural audiences. Additionally, Dr. Kohl’s personal involvement with agriculture provides a unique perspective into the future trends of the agricultural industry and economy.
T E C H WAT C H
Protecting Your Data By David Guilmette, Vice President – Chief Information Security Officer, Farm Credit West
At Farm Credit West we value the trust you put in us with your personal information and take protecting your data very seriously. We monitor data movement to prevent unintended exposure and encrypt data so that it’s only readable to the intended recipient. Your data privacy is important, and there are some important steps you can take to protect it.
Web Browsing What is a cookie consent banner?
A cookie consent banner is the cookie warning that pops up on websites when a user visits the site for the first time. It's the banner that declares what cookies and trackers are present on a website and gives the user a choice of consent before their data is processed.
w Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) to access your email.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security process in which the user provides two different authentication factors to verify themselves. This process is done to better protect both the user's credentials and the resources the user can access. Be Aware of Phishing Scams Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into clicking on a link or opening an attachment in an email, instant message or text message. w Validate any hyperlinks by hovering over them with your
cursor to display its true destination. w Make sure that you only open attachments or click on links from a sender that you know and can validate their email address. w If you validated the sender but weren’t expecting the email or it seems odd, contact the sender using an alternative communication method to verify the email is not malicious. Cell Phone Protection Nowadays just about everyone has a smart phone and it’s being used to conduct both personal and corporate business. Carrying around so much information in the palm of your hand can be very convenient. It’s also important to make sure that you are protecting your device so that your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Each year 70 million smartphones are lost, with only 7% recovered. The true cost of a lost mobile device goes far beyond the price of replacement. Just add up the productivity lost, downtime, support required and management time. Here are just a few simple steps to help keep your mobile device more secure. w w w w w
Have your phone automatically lock Protect it with a secure password Keep your OS up to date Only connect to secure Wi-Fi Only download apps from legitimate sources
Learn more and customize
F R O M T H E FA R M E R’ S K I T C H E N
Pumpkin Rolls By Sheila Holdridge, Tulare
¾ cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pecans (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
¼ teaspoon salt FILLING
8 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons butter, softened 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
P R E PA R AT I O N Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a standard 15x10 inch jelly-roll pan. Line the pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, and then lightly dust with flour so your cake does not stick. Sprinkle a clean cotton tea towel with powdered sugar. Set everything to the side. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, with a hand mixer, mix eggs and granulated sugar. Add in the pureed pumpkin until creamy. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture evenly into the jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with pecans if desired. I have made with and without pecans, and both are amazing! Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch it. I like to bake just until the corners are barely brown.
(paper facing up) that you sprinkled with powdered sugar. Be careful, the cake is really hot! Carefully peel the paper off of the cake and then roll the cake up in the towel and let completely cool on a cooling rack. For the filling, use a hand mixer to mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Carefully unroll the cooled cake, and evenly spread the cream cheese mixture onto the cake to the edges. Reroll the cake back up, wrap really well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or more before serving. I have found this will last about a week in the fridge and a few months (if wrapped properly) in the freezer. Enjoy! Guaranteed to be a holiday family favorite!
Immediately after the cake comes out of the oven, carefully use the corners of the parchment paper to turn the cake onto the towel
R EC I PE SUB M I T T ED B Y SH EI L A H O L DR I DGE
Do you have a great recipe to share? Email your recipe to email@example.com and it could be featured in our next issue.
Sheila Holdridge joined the Farm Credit team six years ago and is a Senior Credit Support Specialist in the Tulare office. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys baking and spending time with her grandkids.
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