spotlight SUMMER 2018
Agriculture Meets Technology How California pistachio growers are looking to the future to solve todayâ€™s problems PAGE 6
Greenliners vs. Redliners
Ready to Take the Next Step at Your Operation? How to Present Your Project to Your Lender
PA GE 12
PA GE 1 6
President’s Message 3
4 4 5 5
6 – 9
10 – 11 12 – 13 14 15
The Lifecycle of a Loan 2018 Holiday Schedule Meet Your Loan Accounting Team Farm Tours with FCA Regulators Agriculture Meets Technology: How California pistachio growers are looking to the future to solve today’s problems Community Center Greenliners vs. Redliners
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.
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board Joey Airoso. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pixley, CA Vice Chair of the Board Sureena B. Thiara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuba City, CA
Robert Amarel, Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuba City, CA
ilet Mignon with F Mushroom-Marsala Sauce
Teresa Castanias . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dixon, CA
eady to Take the Next Step R at Your Operation? How to Present Your Project to Your Lender Digital Strategy: Digital Appraisal Reports and Docusign Don’t be victimized: “Social Engineering” scams Territory and Office Locations
Mark A. Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Willcox, AZ J. Dick Eastman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Powell, WY Catherine Fanucchi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bakersfield, CA Douglas C. Filipponi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Creston, CA Craig C. Gnos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Davis, CA Robert N. Hansen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hanford, CA Blake Harlan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woodland, CA Tom Ikeda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arroyo Grande, CA Colin Mellon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Yuma, AZ
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.
Barry Powell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sacramento, CA Brian Talley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arroyo Grande, CA
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Mark Littlefield, CEO
Providing Sustained Value to our Customers for 101 Years financial results that truly enables
success in the three primary
on the equity through our patronage program. Having
components of our Value
guiding principles that focus on placing the customer
Proposition requires that we
first enables your organization to make decisions
be vigilant and responsive to
that best serve the long-term interests of each
the economic and environmental
of our customer owners.
challenges that impact your opera-
Our commitment to these guiding principles align
tions as well as those that impact ours.
commitment to you. Achieving
expectations, and strive to provide a meaningful return
S U S TA I N E D VA L U E
very well with the values that you live by in your
As Farm Credit West is a customer-owned coopera-
operations. Our Value Proposition to you requires
tive you have the unique dual role of not only enjoying
that your association looks to the future for ways
the benefits and value of being a customer, but you
that we can meet the changing demands of the
also hold the responsibility of electing board members
marketplace. Our efforts are focused on creating
from among yourselves to direct and govern this asso-
new and more effective ways for you to manage your
ciation. We appreciate your ongoing engagement
financial relationship with us through the development
with your association and congratulate our newly
of better technological tools to transact business,
elected and re-elected Board Members. Furthermore,
including: a simplified process that will enable you
I would like to convey my appreciation to our Board
to access all of your banking needs through a single
Members for their confidence and for their continuing
secure website; the ability to pay your business related
support and guidance — without which none of our
bills on-line and directly from your loan accounts;
accomplishments would be possible.
and the ability for you to remotely apply proceeds to your loan accounts.
Farm Credit West to meet our
competitive rates, in a method that exceeds your
T I T I V E R AT
directs us to provide products and services at highly
owners. In fact, our stated Value Proposition
CO U S T P AT R O N A G
results. It is the strength of our
times, and achieve solid financial
ment to build and deliver value to our customer
very day, Farm Credit West acts on our commit-
It is with this in mind that we extend our thanks to you — our customers. Thank you for your business
Your association has worked hard over the past
and the confidence which you have shown in us.
16 years to build a highly diversified portfolio,
We are honored to serve as your partner.
and that diversity has enabled Farm Credit West to effectively manage through uncertain economic
G I N AT I O N ORI N
G IN IC
hether you just picked
up the phone to call your
N A &
The Lifecycle of a Loan
loan officer to inquire about interest rates or
you are headed out the door to sign documents
Farm Credit West’s loan process. During each step, our staff evaluates your request to ensure all is
G N KI O
Monday, September 3, 2018
Columbus Day Monday, October 8, 2018
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 22, 2018
Christmas Day Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
(Farm Credit West and Farm Credit Services Southwest offices are closed.)
excellent customer service.
in order as we continue to provide you with
UN & F
some point your funding request has moved through
2018 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
at your local title company, you can be sure that at
1. LOAN ORIGINATION
This is your first interaction with Farm Credit West. Many times this conversation happens over the phone and typically starts off getting to know you and your operation. Once we have some insight into your business we can recommend loan products, advance rates and pricing to meet your goals.
2. ANALYSIS & APPROVAL
Once all the pieces of the loan package are compiled, the loan package is analyzed by the Credit Analyst/Underwriting Team and then approved following Farm Credit Administration Regulations.
3. LOAN DOCUMENTATION During this process, your loan is sent to the Loan Documentation group. It is this team’s responsibility to examine, validate accuracy and prepare all aspects of the loan documents.
Loan documents are ready to be signed! A final and critical step in the signing process is collecting payment for purchase of common stock. This is the Farm Credit system buy-in that makes all our customers, our shareholders.
5. BOOKING & FUNDING
Once the loan documents are signed your Loan Officer requests the Loan Accounting Team book the loan. At this point, your project is funded.
Billing statements are produced and mailed in accordance with the repayment schedule specified in the Promissory Note. Remittance coupons are directed to Farm Credit West’s centralized accounting group in Rocklin or Branch staff may also accept and process payments.
Meet Your Loan Accounting Team Have you ever called requesting help when using Farm Credit West’s Online Banking tool? Do you ever wonder who books your loans? Are you curious who’s on the other end of the line when you are called to confirm a wire transfer? Our Loan Accounting team is a critical component of Farm Credit West. On a daily basis, our dedicated team members strive to respond and process your requests in a timely and accurate manner. However, not only are they customer service focused, but their first priority is to protect your financial interests as well as the association’s. Each day, our Loan Accounting team comes to work with the mindset of protecting you and your association from fraudulent activities while ensuring a customer focus — which can be challenging when confirming details and making corrections! They book the loans and leases and are the gate keeper for all funding. Our Loan Accounting staff responsibilities include reviewing and releasing funds — ensuring that the money is sent to where it was intended by the customer. Loan Accounting is also responsible for ensuring that payments received from borrowers are credited accurately. At Farm Credit West, we are customer focused — from the minute (FROM LEFT) Yetehetieri Soro, Kaila Montes, Verone Phillip, Dante Chesini, TJ Guraya, Jennifer Coffee, Shelley Kroeger, Cuca Parks, Michelle Doss, Brooke Sharp
you shake hands with your loan officer for the first time to the moment your loan is funded. Our Loan Accounting team is no exception.
FARM TOURS WITH FARM CREDIT SYSTEM REGULATOR As with all financial institutions, Farm Credit West is regulated by a government agency. Due to Farm Credit’s unique structure, all entities are routinely examined by an independent regulator, the Farm Credit Administration (FCA). It is important for FCA examiners to have a solid understanding of the customers and industries we serve. For this reason, Farm Credit West recently coordinated several local farm tours for a group of FCA associate examiners who are working towards full commissioning. Through this varied experience, the examiners gained a better understanding and greater exposure to Farm Credit West’s mission and value proposition to our customers. During the tour, the examiners visited the Center for Land-Based Learning in Winters, California where they viewed several two-acre incubation farm plots. Farm Credit West, through participation in the California Farm Credit Marketing Alliance, provides scholarship funding to the Center. Following their visit with the Center, the group visited a small but expanding operation also in Winters. That operation has grown over the years from 35 acres to now more than 200 acres, with substantial diversification. The final stop of the tour was a large vertically integrated farming operation that moves its commodities through both wholesale and retail channels. That operation is owned and managed by a sixth-generation farmer. The diversity in size, scope and commodity mix of the visited operations is reflective of Farm Credit West’s diverse customer base.
F E AT U R E S TO RY
Agriculture Meets Technology How California pistachio growers are looking to the future to solve today’s problems By John Frith
Like most fruit- and nut-bearing trees, pistachios require chill hours — hours when the temperature is less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit — during the winter to produce an optimum crop the following spring and summer. That hasn’t been a problem most years
Nature doesn’t cooperate. Fortunately,
pistachios. Things were going well for
for growers in the southern San Joaquin
researchers and growers are working
the Nichols family and for the industry
Valley, where the tasty nuts have become
cooperatively to experiment with different
as a whole.
a major crop in the 40 years or so they
ways of making the trees think it’s cooler
have been grown there. The region between
than it is.
Bakersfield and Fresno is known for damp, chilly winters and tule fog that’s often so dense you can’t see for more than a few feet in any direction. That’s been changing in recent years as winters have grown warmer, and the need is growing to find a way to keep the trees producing even in years Mother
Until the 2015 –16 growing year, that is, when the yields between their orchards
And there’s growing optimism that human
in Coalinga and orchards in Tulare and
ingenuity will find a solution.
Hanford varied by more than 3,500
A case in point is the Nichols family, which
pounds per acre.
have planted and grown pistachios across
Pistachios are particularly sensitive to chill.
wide swaths of California’s San Joaquin
The common female Kerman tree needs
Valley for the past 35 years. Crop yields
around 800 chill hours during the winter;
increased as the trees matured, and more
the common male Peters variety needs
and more farmers in the region planted
900. Almonds, by comparison, require just
450 hours. But there hadn’t been much research beyond
cards: “Mission: To strive for mutual success of our families
those rule-of-thumb estimations. So growers — especially
as well as the lives we touch by investing in our employees,
younger, more tech-savvy ones — started researching
customers, and suppliers through operational excellence
the problem and comparing weather and production
and educational development.”
to see how strong the correlation was.
Dan Oster, a Farm Credit West Vice President and Key
“We started collecting historical weather information,
Relationship Manager, Credit, said the family’s support
chill hours, and solar radiation from public sources,” said
of the industry as a whole is laudatory.
James Nichols, the third-generation family member who serves as vice president of the company’s Hanford-based farming operations.
“The Nichols are in the forefront of (research) and passing information on,” he said. “It benefits the industry. There’s only so much you can do to battle nature, but to do it you have to have an understanding of the problem.”
We’re interested in all pistachio growers being successful.
Researchers in many parts of the country have learned a lot about the science behind trees’ need for cold weather while dormant, and many now believe that chill hours alone aren’t the most reliable indicator. The Dynamic Model compensates for temperature fluctuations by calculating
“After the 2015 year, we started aggregating data and publishing information on a mapping system. And we found a big difference between orchards in Coalinga (on the west side of the valley) and Tulare.” The company is expanding the collection network by adding weather stations to address microclimate
chilling accumulation as “chill portions” using a range of temperatures from ~ 35 to 55 degrees. This model also accounts for chill cancellation caused by fluctuating warm temperatures. It begins September 1 instead of November 1 for chill hours. Chuck Nichols said a lack of fog is a major contributor.
changes, and even utilizing data from Weather
“The difference had to do a lot with fog. Fog insulates our
Underground, the online resource based on data
trees, so it doesn’t get as hot during the day. To a pistachio
from individual weather enthusiasts.
tree, 55 (degrees) and sunny is much warmer than 55
Nichols Farms posts its data online for other growers
and foggy,” he said.
and researchers to use. That may seem counter-intuitive,
Warmer winters and much less fog have been more
but Nichols said that attitude is part of their company DNA.
common in recent years, and while harvests rebounded
“We’re interested in all pistachio growers being successful,” he said. “The better other growers can manage their ranch and produce a quality product, the better it is for all parts of the industry and the consumers of our products.” Company president Chuck Nichols points to the company’s mission statement, printed on the back of their business
nicely the past two years — and look encouraging for this year — growers are increasingly taking steps to address the problem. For example, Joshua Nugent, project coordinator for RTS Agri Business, a major Kern County producer, said they have some 50 weather sensors in their orchards and have Continued on next page
found big differences between hills and gullies. With their
trees. In fact, anecdotally most new trees being planted
network of weather loggers, they can go back and look
in the valley are the Golden Hills and Lost Hills varieties.
at past years and draw curves for the four-month chill
Unlike almonds, which need to be replaced every 30 years
period of December-March.
or so, it is unclear how long pistachio trees can live
Nugent said newer technology allows the data to be collected automatically and obtained through cellular
for a relatively short time in the San Joaquin Valley.
connections so growers can determine in real time the
“When we began planting the trees, we hoped to get
amount of chilling in different orchards.
40 to 50 years out of them. Our oldest trees are now
Some growers apply horticultural mineral oil, or dormant oil, which is normally applied to deciduous trees in the winter
about 35 years old — and they are our most productive,” Chuck Nichols said.
to control scale insects. While some growers are skeptical
While it is unclear how long the trees will continue producing
of its effectiveness, researchers have found it can overcome
at high levels — Iranian farmers claim they have trees more
delayed leafing and erratic bloom caused by inadequate
than 1,000 years old that are still bearing nuts — he added
chilling — and significantly increase nut production.
that there’s no economic incentive to rip out mature trees
James Nichols said that this year they began applying a whitewash solution of kaolin clay, which has also shown promise. The whitewash is intended to reflect the sun’s
now, even with chill problems. That’s especially true since pistachio trees usually take nine or 10 years after planting before they generate a positive cash flow.
rays, keeping the tree cooler and mimicking the effect
A warming San Joaquin Valley isn’t the only problem
of fog. However, rain will wash the solution away, possibly
on the horizon for pistachio growers. State and federal
requiring more than one reapplication during the winter.
water supplies, groundwater quality, and the navel
Another strategy is creating mist systems above the canopies to mimic fog. Other tools might include more radical pruning to shock the tree to sleep, along with changing watering patterns. In the long run, newer varieties developed with industry funding by researchers at the University of California, Davis are hardier and require less chill than the Kerman and Peters
and produce in California since they’ve only been cultivated
orangeworm — the most-damaging caterpillar affecting pistachios — are bigger threats today, said Paul Nugent, a small Kern County operator and Joshua’s father. Bob Klein, the manager of the Administrative Committee for Pistachios in Fresno — the federal marketing order that regulates the handling of pistachios in California, Arizona, and New Mexico — said other problems will also need
We accelerated as fast as we could, and Farm Credit West was a great partner for us.
to be addressed in coming years, including how to harvest the nuts. Growers use machinery to shake the nuts off the trees, but as the trees get older and sturdier, eventually the trunks will no longer shake. That will force changes in operations, such as shaking individual branches, which will be more time-consuming and expensive. But despite the problems pistachio growers face, there is optimism that further research will allow them to adapt. And then there are the trees themselves, which Klein said tend to compensate from year to year and rebound after poor harvests. “When I got here in 1999, my boss said to try and predict future yields for the next five years. My first year I was off by 50 percent because it was a year with very poor chill. But the trees compensate, and if you look at the total yield
ichols Farms was founded by
Chuck Nichols’ father, Graydon, in 1954. Now the chairman
emeritus, for decades he grew row
crops including cotton, sugar beets, corn, and alfalfa on a half-section on the Tulare-Kings county line.
In the early 1980s, he decided to diversify, planting almonds in 1981 and pistachios in 1983. As the trees matured and began producing a few years later, father and son decided nuts were
for those five years, I was almost spot-on.”
the farm’s future.
In fact, the statewide harvest rebounded from
“We accelerated as fast as we could, and Farm
270 million pounds in 2015 to an all-time high of 897 million pounds in 2016. Ultimately, Paul Nugent perhaps put it best. “Chill is a worry, but it’s not in my top three. Pistachio growers farm a large number of acres and have
Credit West was a great partner for us,” Chuck Nichols said. “Capital loans and operating lines allowed us to accelerate the transition, and now we are 100 percent permanent crops.”
broad geographical diversity. We’re trying new methods and we’re trying new varieties. We’re watching, but we’re not panicked at all,” he said.
Cal Poly FFA State Finals BBQ Ryan Hoffman (Templeton) works with staff from J.B. Dewar to grill bread for over 3,000 students.
ON MAY 5, 2018 Farm Credit West employees and families volunteered to work the Cal Poly California FFA State Finals BBQ for the 35th year along with Farm Supply and J.B. Dewar, preparing the tri-tip and bread for BBQ then slicing and serving the meal to over 3,000 FFA Finals participants and volunteers from all over the state of California. Staff trimmed tri-tip from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM while the J.B. Dewar team BBQâ€™ed, then switched to slicing the cooked tri-tip and bread before serving.
National Youth Ag Day Farm Credit West showed its support for the 16th Annual Youth Ag Day on March 20. The event was held at the Solano County Fairgrounds and was attended by Loan Officer, Nicole Swanson. Every year, this event is organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), an organization uniquely composed of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agricultureâ€™s vital role in our society.
Farm Credit West Exhibits at High School Ag Career Day
Fresno Grizzlies’ Wild About Reading Program
Earlier this spring, Farm Credit West’s staff participated
For the fifth straight year, Farm Credit joined with the Fresno
in the 2018 Ag Career Day at the International Agri-Center
Grizzlies baseball team to sponsor the Wild About Reading
in Tulare, California. At this event, staff met with high school
program. This program encourages young students in the Central
students, explained Farm Credit West’s unique business model
San Joaquin Valley to be excited about reading. Wild About
and mission, and discussed ways for these students to align
Reading is a key component of the Grizzlies Community Fund’s
their skills and interests with career opportunities in agriculture.
Farm Grown program, which promotes the agricultural heritage
Many of these students were introduced to the variety of career
and philanthropic vitality of the Valley through building meaningful
paths available in agriculture for the first time at this event.
partnerships in support of education and healthy living.
Land-Based Learning California Farm Academy Farm Credit West joined with other California Farm Credit associations to financially support the Land-Based Learning’s California Farm Academy program earlier this year. This program offers a seven-month training program for adults interested in becoming farmers. In addition, this grant provided financing to the Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability Leadership Program (FARMS), which introduces high school students to college and career opportunities in agriculture, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We are honored to support these young farmers as they continue with their agricultural education.
D R . KO H L’ S C O R N E R
Greenliners vs. Redliners By Dr. David M. Kohl
Into its fifth year, the economic reset is demonstrating a clear delineation between the greenliner businesses and the redliner businesses. Those farms and ranches generating a profit or with minimal losses are the greenliners; and those with mounting losses are the redliners.
arm record databases, such as the FINBIN Database,
In addition, they tend to maintain working capital or current
find the gap in net income increases significantly when
assets in greater amounts than current liabilities. This affords
analyzing farms that have gross income of $1 million
them the flexibility to be a price maker rather than a price taker.
or more. Of course, at this point in the cycle marketing, management, and financial mistakes are compounded as a result of business size. For comparison, let’s examine some of the characteristics of the greenliners versus the redliners.
THE GREENLINERS One common characteristic of the greenliner businesses is their balanced, systems approach in the major components of the business. Specifically, when it comes to production, marketing, financials, and overall efficiency they appear to do just a little bit better. This is also called the five percent rule: a five percent improvement in several areas of the business is a good way to significantly impact the bottom line. This segment is also very familiar with the four cornerstones of management: planning, strategizing, executing, and monitoring. They make the time to prioritize strategies in order to allocate their resources to the places with the highest rates of return. Where some will only make a plan, the greenliners actually execute their plans and accept the consequences. Yes, this may include missing the highest price point in the market; yet these businesses know their cost of production and are committed to realizing a profit, even if small.
Still part of the four cornerstones, monitoring is another common characteristic among greenliners. Whether it is production, cost efficiency, or financial ratios, the greenliners examine trends (positive and negative) and implement corrective actions moving forward. Next, greenliners exhibit a sound financial system. Often, they are enrolled in a farm record service and employ an accountant familiar with the agriculture industry. In short, greenliner businesses exhibit a good understanding of their numbers and how they impact their business strategy.
THE REDLINERS Now, let’s examine some general practices of the redliner businesses. Many of today’s redliners were focused on growth several years ago. And of course, growth is the number one reason why businesses fail. That is, growth of the business revenue outpaces the management ability or management transition. Actually, much of this group also overpaid for marginal assets while expanding. Before too long, the lag in management and overburden of purchases set these businesses behind.
Another attribute common to this group is a singular focus
FORECAST FOR THE FUTURE Now, with greenliners and redliners clearly delineated,
on production. Frequently, they do not understand the basic
what is the forecast for the future? Well, the greenliners
principle of marginal cost to marginal revenue. In other words,
will selectively grow their businesses where opportunity
redliner businesses ignore the cost incurred to increase
aligns with their talent, resources, and potential ability
production and whether the increase actually improved net gain.
to market their products. The redliners, on the other hand,
Instead, they operate under the philosophy of bigger is better.
will be in a constant mode of refinancing or restructuring debt.
One obvious practice of the redliners is a lacking financial
Often, their decisions will be emotional with a haphazard
and marketing system. In cases where an accountant is
approach to management, rather than working with
employed, often there is no tax management strategy, only
an advisory team or their lender.
minimization. It seems this group prefers to operate in denial
The next few years will produce one of two possible outcomes;
as most have an incomplete picture of financials, cannot pinpoint
red or green. Regardless of which side one ends up on,
their cost of production, and do not know the most or least
the outcomes could determine the trajectory of one’s financial
profitable areas of the business. In many cases, the redliners
future for years to come. While there is a clear difference
conduct an annual “drive-by” of their financials and become
between those businesses in the greenliner and redliner
indignant over financial questions from lenders and others.
categories, there are options for both segments. And for those
Another significant challenge for the redliners is high family living
willing to make difficult changes and decisions, it may not
cost, but not merely because of costs. Frequently, redliner
be too late to switch colors.
businesses support multiple generations and several families, which is simply not sustainable in today’s environment.
2 016 N E T FA R M I N C O M E B Y FA R M S I Z E FINBIN Database, Minnesota Median by Gross Income in Thousands 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 -100,000 -200,000 -300,000 -400,000
100 – 250
250 – 500
500 – 1,000
1,000 – 2,000
Net Farm Income by Farm Size. Adapted from “2016 FINBIN Report on Minnesota Farm Finances” by Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota, May 2017. Copyright 2017 by Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota.
Congratulations to our 2018 Scholarship Recipients! Recipients have clearly demonstrated their commitment to agriculture and worked to make a difference in their communities. These students will receive a $1,500 scholarship towards higher education for the 2018 –19 school year. Scholars who continue to maintain academic excellence are eligible to renew their $1,500 scholarship for up to three years after their initial award, bringing the total award available to $6,000 per scholar. For students renewing their scholarship, please send your 2017–18 transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1, 2018. Farm Credit West’s college scholarship program is an important component of our commitment to young and beginning farmers. By supporting the education of these students, we are investing in the future of agriculture.
Over the past
24 YE ARS Farm Credit West has awarded over
$797,500 in scholarships to
OUR 2018 S CHOLA RSHIP RECIPI ENTS SARINA SOHAL Yuba City, CA
LAILA ROLLIN Riverdale, CA
JACQUELINE TAYLOR Sanger, CA
UC Davis AgBus Finance
Cal Poly, SLO Ag Communications
Fresno State Animal Science
BAILEY GRUBER Visalia, CA
HAYLEY FERNANDES Tulare, CA
JUSNEET BOPARAI Fowler, AZ
Texas A&M Animal Science
Cal Poly, SLO Animal Science
UC Davis Environmental Policy
Frank and Diane Fernandes
SARAH ARDANTZ San Luis Obispo, CA
PAYTON PASCHOAL Winters, CA
JACOB MADDEN Paso Robles, CA
University of Arizona Agribusiness
Cal Poly, SLO Ag Communications
Purdue Agriculture Engineering
Tom and Lori Madden
PAUL ABATTI Imperial, CA
LUKE ROSSI Aptos, CA
RHEGAN FERNANDES Tulare, CA
University of San Diego Accounting
4th Year at Cal Poly, SLO Ag Engineering
Colorado State Agribusiness
DANIELA ABATTI Imperial, CA
LINDSEY SWALL Tulare, CA
ASHLEY TARTAGLIA Delano, CA
Oklahoma Panhandle State Animal Science
Cal Poly, SLO Plant Science
Cal Poly, SLO Animal Science
F RO M T H E FA R M E R ’ S K I TC H E N
Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Marsala Sauce By David Penney, Sr. Vice President – Regional Underwriting; Tempe Branch
INGREDIENTS 4 6-ounce filets mignon Salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons butter, divided 2 cups sliced mushrooms ¾ cup Marsala wine ¼ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions P R E PA R AT I O N Season both sides of filets with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the filets and cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Remove filets from the skillet and keep warm. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine. After 30 seconds, add the balsamic vinegar and heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and add the green onion slices. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle sauce over filets and serve.
We’re in this together We’re a true member-owner cooperative – oﬀering loans, leases, competitive rates and unmatched service. We are your partners in agriculture – your success is our success.
C A N D I D C O N V E R S AT I O N S
Ready to Take the Next Step at Your Operation? How to Present Your Project to Your Lender By Jennifer Campoy, Sr. Vice President – Credit; Kern Branch
Few will disagree that farming today is in many ways different from what it was fifty, twenty-five, or even ten years ago. The changes we have experienced over the last several years have encouraged growers to look around their operations to identify new efficiencies in an effort to maximize profits. With every passing year, technology plays an increasingly import-
operation. Present your ideas to your lender and brainstorm
ant role as growers look to reduce costs and increase yields.
with them to identify ways in which you can protect your
Diversification has also become important and operators are looking
business. Demonstrating that you have thoroughly thought
to expand into new commodities that will improve their bottom line.
through all your options builds confidence with your lender.
As new ideas grow, so does the price tag. Often times, the need
4. R ecognize that your goal presents unique risks which may require you to be flexible. As a cooperative institution,
for financing new projects can be overwhelming. Below are a few tips for when it comes time to approach your loan officer about
your Farm Credit lender has the primary objective of protecting
seeking financing for your new, innovative idea.
the association’s assets to ensure all customers will continue
1. Have a plan. Develop a written plan that contains details on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT Analysis) for pursuing your new project. Talk with others that have pursued a similar task and identify what went well and what they would change if they were to do things over again. Reach out to your local university, commodity board/ association, or Pest Control Advisor to see if research has been done in the area that would benefit you as you develop your plan.
2. Understand the numbers. Develop a projected income and expense statement. Prior to entering costs and estimated profits, research the figures thoroughly. When you present the budget to your lender, they will likely ask you to verify the numbers. Consider the amount of time it will take to recover the funds of the investment through increased earnings or reduction in expense. By working with your lender to establish conservative and realistic figures, you will be in a preferable position even if your project does not progress as planned.
3. Develop multiple exit strategies. As you develop your project plan, identify multiple ways in which you could exit the project with the least amount of damage, both to your wallet and your
to benefit from low rates and a robust patronage program. Regardless of how well you prepare, situations out of your control may impact the success of your plan. Understand this as you discuss your new project with your loan officer and be flexible and open to new ideas to help mitigate risk. Below are a few ideas for ways in which this could be accomplished: ww Pledge traditional collateral ww Provide a personal guarantee to provide additional financial strength ww Suggest more conservative loan terms such as lower advance rates ww Involve knowledgeable, successful individuals who have pursued a similar plan in the past as a partner Are you ready to take the next step at your operation? With a little preparation, you will begin your new journey in a much more favorable position. It is important to remember as you work through your plan that your loan officer is your partner. Regular communication and brainstorming sessions are great ways to ensure your ultimate success.
Jennifer Campoy is a Portfolio Manager based out of Farm Credit West’s Kern County branch, primarily overseeing customer operations with permanent nut crops. Jennifer has been employed with Farm Credit West for 19 years. She can be reached at Jennifer.Campoy@FarmCreditWest.com.
D I G I TA L S T R AT E G Y
Digital appraisal reports now available! Farm Credit West is now providing customers with the option to receive a digital copy of Appraisal Reports. This paperless option will be made available by logging in securely to myFCW and clicking on “My Documents”. Digital copies of these reports are frequently available sooner to customers than a traditional hard copy. Ask your loan officer today to find out how you can receive your next appraisal report electronically.
Customers are now enjoying the benefits of signing documents electronically. Farm Credit West has now completely implemented the use of DocuSign for customers at all branch locations. By using this online tool, customers are now able to sign Commercial Loan packages such as loan renewals and lease document packages digitally. (Documents requiring a notarized signature are excluded.) DocuSign can be used on all servicing documents (non-notarized) such as conversion agreements, extension agreements, etc.
Using DocuSign to complete loan and lease documents saves time and energy.
See what our Loan Officers have to say.
“Recently we used DocuSign with a borrower that was out of town attending an industry conference while his wife was at home. We had a small package they needed to sign and through using this new tool, were able to turn it around in only a few minutes. When I later ran into the customer in person, his first comment on greeting me was, ‘I signed those papers
“I love DocuSign. I see the greatest value in documents that are time sensitive like Conversion or Broken Funding agreements. Those can be out to the borrower and back the same day the documents are prepared. It is easy to use and all my customers seem to enjoy the benefits.” — Ryan Camara, VP – Credit; Tulare Branch
this morning on my phone and it worked great.’ Another benefit we see is not having a packet of documents returned back to us through the mail only to realize the borrower missed signing or initialing one page. Fixing this type of error is obviously time consuming and frustrating. DocuSign eliminates this situation.” — Mark Brawley, Sr. VP – Credit; Rural Arizona Branch
T E C H WATC H
Don’t be victimized: “Social Engineering” scams By Michael Levin, CEO/Founder of the Center for Information Security Awareness | cfisa.com
ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE and dangerous techniques criminals use to commit their crimes is called social engineering, and it’s vitally important that you learn how to recognize this serious threat. Social engineering uses social interaction as the primary means to trick or persuade you to disclose confidential information that can then be used against you. Social Engineering scams can happen in person, over the phone, or via email phishing scams.
Warning signs that a hacker may be trying to socially engineer you: ww Any request for personally identifiable information (PII). (PII is defined as “any information about an individual maintained by an agency, including (1) any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or biometric records; and (2) any other information that is linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information.”)1
ww Creation of a sense of urgency or emergency to force your fast action without time to react appropriately.
The main goal of social engineering is to trick you into providing
ww Excessive flattery or attempts at persuasion through flattery.
the criminals with valuable information that can later be used
ww Threats. “If you don’t do it, you’ll get in trouble or there
to steal data and obtain funds illegally.
will be ramifications.”
Cyber-criminals are excellent students of human behavior and will spend significant time studying the predictable behavior of their victims. The purpose of their study is simple — to create attack strategies and scenarios that will take full advantage of your predictable behavior, and use your mistakes to steal your information.
ww Refusal to give a call back number or unwillingness to provide normal contact information. Because most social engineering attacks are attempts to gain information that an attacker can’t easily get elsewhere, the mere fact that a stranger asks for the information should be a clear warning. Recognizing the possible signs that a criminal is attempting
Techniques that hackers may utilize to victimize you:
to socially engineer you is now important every day.
ww Researching your social media and online accounts.
Looking at your postings on social media or other Internet postings. This could give them background data that can later be used to trick you into providing information. This could also include looking at your friends’ and family members’ postings to gain intelligence information that can be used
ww Never give any confidential information to someone you don’t know, and especially never to a telephone caller. ww Take your time and verify all contacts independently requesting your sensitive PII data. ww Limit the information you share on social media sites.
to lure you into their scam. ww Ruse phone calls to gain initial information. Exploiting your willingness to be helpful and openly provide sensitive information. ww Phishing email messages posing as friends, family
We must think about our security every day. Don’t wait until you or your family have been victimized to do something to protect yourself. It is so important to understand the day to day risk and help to ensure that your data is protected. Cybercriminals
or co-workers. ww Emails or calls posing as a company you do business with.
depend on your lack of vigilance to strike when you least expect it.
1 https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/Legacy/SP/nistspecialpublication800-122.pdf Michael Levin is a nationally known cyber security professional who spent over twenty-two years in the U.S. Secret Service protecting Presidents and Heads of State. Michael retired from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — as the Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division in Washington DC. He enjoyed a distinguished thirty-year career in public service and law enforcement.
Territory and Office Locations ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE 3755 Atherton Road Rocklin, CA 95765 916.780.1166 PASO ROBLES 1446 Spring Street Suite 201 Paso Robles, CA 93446 805.237.0998
Yuba City Woodland
Farm Credit West Administrative Office
DINUBA 940 W. El Monte Way Dinuba, CA 93618 559.591.9378
Tulare Paso Robles Templeton Kern County Santa Maria
HANFORD 1111 W. Lacey Boulevard Hanford, CA 93230 559.584.2681
IMPERIAL VALLEY 485 Business Park Way Imperial, CA 92251 760.355.0291
Tempe Imperial Valley Yuma
Rural Arizona/ Safford
19628 Industry Parkway Drive Bakersfield, CA 93308 661.399.7360
3003 S. Fair Lane Tempe, AZ 85282 602.431.4100
RURAL ARIZONA / SAFFORD
1120 S. 20th Avenue Safford, AZ 85546 928.348.9571
175 Cow Meadow Place Paso Robles, CA 93446 805.434.3665
2031 Knoll Drive Ventura, CA 93003 805.477.1020
1800 Lassen Boulevard Yuba City, CA 95993 530.671.1420
1178 Tama Lane Santa Maria, CA 93455 805.922.7991
200 E. Cartmill Avenue Tulare, CA 93274 559.684.1478
440 Pioneer Avenue Woodland, CA 95776 530.666.3333
2490 S. 5th Avenue Yuma, AZ 85364 928.344.3200
3755 Atherton Road Rocklin, CA 95677
Get Out of Town. Dreaming about a home in the country?
Farm Credit West can help connect your dreams to reality with a new Country Home Loan program offered through Northwest Farm Credit Services. This program is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of rural property owners. If you already own a home, excellent refinancing options are available too.
Country Home Loans | Bare Land and Lot Loans | All-in-One Constructions Loans
Contact Matt Macedo, Relationship Manager
NORTHWEST FARM CREDIT SERVICES NMLS#1729210
o 559.697.4943 | m 208.252.0152 northwestfcs.com
Equal Housing Lender This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Country Home Loans may be offered in areas served by Farm Credit West, ACA with their express written consent. If made, any Country Home Loan in an area served by Farm Credit West, ACA will be owned and serviced by Northwest Farm Credit Services, FLCA.