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4 Secrets to Successfully Running a Farm

Published March 27, 2020

Before applying for a farm or ranch loan, you should know that running a farm can be a complicated experience. If you are planning to buy one of the farms and ranches for sale today in Texas, it's prudent that you keep the following tips in mind.

1. Have a Realistic Budget

Just like any other business out there, preparing a budget is mandatory when it comes to owning a farm. With proper budgeting, you will have a clear picture as to whether you are looking to make a profit or not. The need to be honest about your financial situation cannot be overemphasized in this case. One of the biggest decisions you can make is what your funding options are. After you've found your lender and your loan has been processed, your budget will ensure that every dime is spent wisely.

2. Look For the Best Deals

Before settling for a farm equipment supplier in town, it would be for your own good to shop around for better prices. Instead of buying new equipment, look into attending farm machinery auctions whenever you need to purchase a replacement without breaking the bank. Purchasing quality used equipment is one way to save money on what could be an expensive buy.

The same goes for when you are scouting for a small farm loan as well. Make sure that you pay different lending institutions a visit and choose the best offer. Always be on the lookout for ways to help you scale down expenditures.

3. Learn About Insurance

With all the operations that take place on a farm, a lot of things that are even beyond your control can go wrong. Imagine getting a small farm loan and buying farm equipment only for a storm to come through and wipe out everything you bought. Such incidents can drive the farm into heavy losses, but can be mitigated with farm insurance.

4. Find a Support System

Building relationships with people that can offer wise counsel is prudent. Veteran farmers are a good place to start because they have taken this journey before. With their advice, you can gain wisdom on what needs to be done and what can be avoided. If things are not working, never be afraid to reach out for help.

It goes without saying that owning a farm can be a rewarding experience. Having a clear roadmap will ensure fewer roadblocks. With the above tips, you have what it takes to start your farm ownership on the right foot.


Plains Land Bank Distributes Record $8.5 Million in Patronage to Borrowers

Published March 24, 2020

AMARILLO, Texas – Plains Land Bank has good news for its customers. It will distribute a record $8.5 million in cash patronage to its stockholders in April.

The rural lending cooperative declared the patronage distribution based on its strong financial results in 2019.

"For our association, 2019 was a fantastic year," said Gregg Lloyd, Plains Land Bank chief executive officer. "We are pleased to be able to return a portion of last year's earnings to our borrowers, particularly during this era of uncertainty. Our focus is our customers' success and well-being and seeing them through these challenging times."

As a cooperative, Plains Land Bank is owned by its borrower-stockholders — farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, rural homeowners and landowners. When the co-op does well, it retains only enough income each year to cover operating expenses. The surplus is returned to stockholders as patronage, which effectively reduces their cost of borrowing.

Plains Land Bank provides mortgage financing for agricultural producers and rural property owners. Part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, the Amarillo-based lending cooperative has branch offices in Amarillo, Pampa, Perryton and Plainview.


Financing Your Farming Dream

Published February 14, 2020

Your dream is to farm, but you haven't found the lender to help get you started. Plains Land Bank is the right bank to help turn your dream into reality. We understand the farmer's needs and will prove to be a great resource for financing your farming dream.

A Common Myth

There is a common myth that farmers need to already be well- established in order to be eligible for land loans in Texas. The reality is that there are programs that are designed especially for new farmers, inexperienced farmers, small farmers, and more.

If your dream is built around becoming a farmer in Texas, do not be discouraged because you are new to the agricultural industry. With the right agricultural lender, you can make that dream happen. By shopping around and doing your due diligence, you will likely find a lender that will fit your needs and help your operation grow.

How To Apply For Financing

If you have your eye on some land, you can apply to be pre-qualified to make the purchase through a land lender. Working closely with a bank that understands the needs of farmers and will ensure that you get the support that you need throughout the process is vital.

Speaking with agricultural lending experts will help give you a jumpstart on determining eligibility and which loan program will work best for your operation. Gathering the information you need is the first of many steps you'll need to take -- but it's one that's well worth the effort.

Credit is Important (But It's Not the Only Deciding Factor)

Your credit score will be a factor in the process of obtaining a farming loan, but it's not the only component of determining eligibility. Other considerations are taken into account, especially for young borrowers.

Your Dream Could Become a Reality

If farming is something you feel you are drawn to or if you want to expand your current operation, the right financing package can help. Plains Land Bank can provide the financial assistance that you need to become a part of the farming community in Texas. For more information, contact us today.


High School Scholarship Program

Published February 12, 2020

We are offering four $2,000 scholarships to four deserving Texas Panhandle high school seniors.

Download scholarship application


Young, Beginning, Small Farmers : What You Need to Know

Published January 10, 2020

How do you know which lender is the right choice to finance your first farm? If you haven't already, you should consider asking a Plains Land Bank lender about our YBS loan program; this loan program is ideal for farmers or ranchers who are just starting out and looking to bring their dream to life.

As with any farm loan, you need to make sure you qualify before you apply. Here's what you need to know before you apply for the YBS loan program.

YBS: Young, Beginning, Small

The YBS loan program covers a very specific range of borrowers. To qualify, a farmer or rancher must either be:

  • Young: under the age of 35 at the time of the loan transaction;
  • Beginning: in possession of 10 years or less of experience at the time of loan transaction; or
  • Small: producing less than $250,000 annual gross sales.
  • Plains Land Bank understands that the future of agriculture depends on a new generation of ag producers. We offer flexible underwriting standards to accommodate the needs of producers who are just beginning their farm or ranch.

A Good Local Land Lender is On Your Side

Applying for ranch or farm loan financing can be a complicated, time-consuming business. Farmers and ranchers should work with banks and credit unions they can trust.

There's a good chance that you'll be with that particular bank or credit union for the duration of your loan; do your research and go in prepared before choosing your local land lender.

Find a lender that will help you through the application process and give you the time you need, from application to closing, to make sure all your real estate affairs are in order. It's also helpful to find a bank that will work with the Farm Service Agency programs to help you secure the down payment for your land purchase.

Building the agricultural empire of your dreams isn't impossible; start investing in your future today with a YBS loan from Plains Land Bank.


What are YBS Loans?

Published December 19, 2019

Becoming a part of the tradition of Texas Panhandle agriculture can start with small farm loans. YBS loans (Young, Beginning and Small Loans) are loans that are geared toward helping the new generation of ag producers make their land ownership dreams into realities. There is a long tradition in Texas that is steeped in agriculture, if you are ready to become a part of that history, the YBS loan program at Plains Land Bank can be the solution.

Plains Land Bank knows how important the next generations of producers are to the future of agriculture in the Texas Panhandle. We offer flexible underwriting standards to young, beginning, small farmers & ranchers to help them get the funding that they need to purchase land, expand their operations, and support when their credit history is limited.

Is a YBS Loan Right For You?

There are certain criteria that will qualify you to apply for this loan program including:

  • If you are under the age of 35 (young borrower)
  • You have been farming for less than 10 years (beginning farmer)
  • You generate less than $250,000 a year in revenue from your farm (small farm)

If you meet one of or all of the above criteria you may be eligible to apply for and secure a YBS loan. There are some unique benefits to this type of loan that you may not be able to find with other conventional loan products.

Benefits of a YBS Loan

Working with a land lender can sometimes be difficult because of the loan constraints. A YBS loan allows concessions like allowing the additional time that may be needed to assist applicants with the real estate purchase process.

These types of loans recognize the YBS borrower's unique challenges and work with the borrower to work around the circumstances. In other words, these types of loans are set up for success. Plains Land Bank will also facilitate loan processing with other lenders, such as the Farm Service Agency, for down-payment assistance.

This Can Be The Right Opportunity

If you are ready to expand your farm, grow your operation, or you are just in the fledgling stages of starting your farm, the YBS loan program may be the opportunity you have been searching for. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply today by stopping into Plains Land Bank or giving us a call!


Are You Eligible For a Farm Loan?

Published December 2, 2019

One of the best things that you can do to learn more about obtaining a farm loan is to align with a bank that can help you navigate the process. There are a lot of misconceptions about a farm loan and who is eligible as a borrower. By partnering with a bank that specializes in farm loans, it will not only increase your knowledge but your success.

Having Plains Land Bank on your side will help you to take advantage of the farm loans available to you. In 2018, the total value of farmland and buildings in the United States came in around $2.7 trillion. With this incredibly high value, it's surprising that a lot of people are missing out on the opportunity to get the farm loan financing that they need.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

A lot of young borrowers think that because of their age, they are not eligible for farm loan programs. You can take out a farm loan even if you are 35 years old or younger. As long as you are either a rancher, farmer or harvester of aquatics you may be eligible for a farm loan.

Basic eligibility requirements for this type of lending can be met by young farmers, small farmers, and even beginning borrowers. In other words, you may be eligible to participate in the Farm Credit system and not even know it.

One of the many misconceptions about farm loan programs is that they are only for the large-sized, well-established farms or ranches. The truth is that there is a program especially for people that gross under $250,000 in sales every year from their agricultural activities.

If you are with the right bank, like Plains Land Bank for instance, you can get the support you need to take advantage of farm loans. Eligibility requirements can be more flexible than you think.

Use a Farm Loan Calculator

Now that you know that you may meet the eligibility criteria, it is time to find out how much you can comfortably borrow. Farm loan calculators are the best tools to figure out how much a loan will cost you each month and see if that payment can fit into your budget.
Your lender can help you to decide how much farm loan financing you can afford. At Plains Land Bank we will work with you to ensure that you get the financing that you need under the right terms.


Your Guide to Farm & Ranch Financing

Published September 9, 2019

Whether you have an established farm, or if you are looking to obtain one, it is wise to consider your finance options before you commit to a piece of property. While farm loan financing can be challenging and confusing, there are options available to you that make finding the right farm loan far easier than it would be on your own. Loans are a crucial part of ensuring that your farm is paid for in a manner that respects both your long-term vision for your land and the current state of your finances. If you are curious about finding loans for a farm, but you are lost or confused about how to begin or where to look, then follow our simple guide below to get started.

Where do people get money for farms?

Most people are not aware of the different sources of funding that exist for farmers in today's world. The United States Department of Agriculture provides some different farm loan programs that can make life easier. The size and nature of their available loans depends on a few different factors. For example, you may qualify for a different set of loans if you're an urban farmer than you would if you're a more traditional rancher. Of course, they will assess your different loan qualifications depending on your unique situation, but it can be a good place to check if you're not sure. Obviously, banks offer loans for farms as well, but they are often more difficult to qualify for, and they require more information. It's always a good move to look around and explore your options before you commit to one source of funding for your farm. Plains Land Bank offers a variety of flexible loan programs that are designed to meet all of your rural estate financing needs. Farm and ranch property loans are offered to full and part time farmers and ranchers.

What kind of expenses should I expect?

Because U.S. farmland is such a major market, there are many factors to consider. The total value of farmland and buildings in the U.S. came to around $2.7 trillion in the year 2018. While your specific situation is perhaps the largest contributing factor to determining the size of the loan you will need, there are many steps you can take to educate yourself so that you are more prepared when it is time to speak with someone about farm loans. First and foremost, you should take the size of your property into account. How many acres are you looking to finance? Does the property include a water source? What are other properties in the area selling for? Knowing some basic numbers about your future farm purchase will help you to achieve a more accurate picture of the types of loans you might need

You will also want to do an analysis of any structures or assets that are included with the farm you are interested in purchasing. For example, the property will probably have a higher value if it has multiple barns and housing structures. This means that you will need to consider this as you search for loans. More expensive properties mean you may have a greater return on your investment in the long run, but it also means that you will need to be prepared to take out a larger loan and provide a larger down payment.

As a prudent first step, it is also wise to perform a comprehensive analysis of your financial situation. This means you should take a look at your current budget, including your income, expenses, and past tax statements. Having a thorough working knowledge of your overall financial picture will give you the confidence you need to seek out the right types of loans.When you are looking to buy a farm, it can be quite exciting. But it can also be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you are not certain how you are going to fund your purchase. By securing the right farm credit system, you can give yourself the peace of mind to focus on the things that really matter. If you are looking for a farm loan, but you are not sure where to start, then contact Plains Land Bank today. We would love to help you get started on finding the right property that will bring you joy and prosperity for years to come.


2019 Board of Directors Election Results

Published June 5, 2019

Following the Plains Land Bank Annual Stockholder's Meeting held on April 18, 2019, mail ballots for the 2019 Board of Directors election were sent out to all designated voters.

The following candidates were elected or re-elected to a 3 year term beginning in June 2019:

Place II: Hansford & Hutchinson Counties

Jerrell K. Key

Place VI: Carson County & Armstrong County north of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River

Dennis Babcock (Incumbent)

Place VII: Hale County

Don James (Incumbent)

Proposed Bylaws Amendments (also placed on the ballot)

Approved

For any additional questions regarding the Plains Land Bank Annual Stockholder's Meeting or 2019 Board of Director Election results please contact your local branch office.


Plains Land Bank Stockholders Participate in Farm Credit Young Leaders Program

Published March 8, 2019

AMARILLO, Texas — Austin and Tamren Terhune of Perryton, Texas, recently saw firsthand how Farm Credit uses money raised on Wall Street to support agriculture and rural communities. The Terhunes, member-borrowers of Plains Land Bank, were among 27 agricultural producers who were selected for the 2018 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Terhunes with Stan Ray
Tamren and Austin Terhune, left, of Perryton, Texas, attended the 2018 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program on behalf of Plains Land Bank. They celebrated the completion of the program in Mount Vernon, Va., with Stan Ray, right, Farm Credit Bank of Texas Chief Administrative Officer and Tenth District Farm Credit Council President.


The 13th annual program began with visits to a Wall Street brokerage firm and the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. There the group learned how investors' purchase of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds provides steady funding that local lending cooperatives like Plains Land Bank put to work in rural communities. Together, Farm Credit's customer-owned co-ops provide more than $261 billion in financing to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers nationwide.

Next the group traveled to the nation's capital to exchange ideas with public officials. While on Capitol Hill, the Terhunes discussed policy issues with Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Jodey Arrington and congressional staff. That same day, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill, setting the stage for a compromise bill of this vital agricultural and food legislation.

At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Business–Cooperative Service Administrator Bette Brand and others talked with the group about USDA programs tailored for young ag producers.

The five-day program ended with a visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's innovative farming and milling operation.

"This annual program is one of the ways we support young and beginning agricultural producers," said Stan Ray, president of the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, which hosts the Young Leaders Program. "Participants are chosen by their local lending cooperatives, and come home with a new appreciation of the role Farm Credit plays in agriculture and rural communities across the country."

Austin Terhune is a fifth-generation farmer in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. He also owns a spraying business, is a Channel Seedsman, and is venturing into cotton sales and cattle. After he and Tamren married in 2009, he went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University and a master's degree in agronomy from Texas A&M University. The Terhunes have a 7-month-old son.

The Tenth District Farm Credit Council is the regional member of the national Farm Credit Council, the trade association that works on behalf of Farm Credit cooperatives and their member-owners.


Stockholders Gather for Association Business and Patronage

Published April 9, 2018

Plains Land Bank customers came together for regional stockholder meetings on March 27 and 29. Customers conducted official business and collected checks for 29.64% of the interest paid in 2017, a total of $7.1 million. Over the past 14 years, Plains Land Bank has returned over $55 million to customers in the form of patronage checks. Stockholders also held the annual board of directors' elections. The following directors were re-elected:

  • Perry Kirkland, Place IV
  • Lyle Miller, Place VIII
  • Walter (Rusty) Henson, Place IX

Notice Regarding Frost Bank Lockbox Security Incident

Published April 5, 2018

We recently learned that Frost Bank is investigating a security incident involving unauthorized access to electronic check images stored in Frost Bank's lockbox software program that serves about 470 of Frost Bank's commercial customers. Through our association with Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Plains Land Bank uses the Frost Bank lockbox payment processing service to allow our customers to send payments to a central post office box for processing. Frost Bank reported that it stopped the unauthorized access and that it is cooperating with law enforcement to investigate the incident.

At this time, Frost Bank's investigation is ongoing, and we do not know if any of our customers' checks were affected in the incident. However, only those customers who mailed payment checks to the lockbox at P.O. Box 1569, San Antonio, TX 78296 could potentially be affected. We are working with Frost Bank to obtain more information about the incident, to determine if any Plains Land Bank customers' checks may have been affected, and if so, to obtain a list of such potentially affected customers. Any customers whose checks are determined to have been potentially affected in this incident will be notified directly.

We encourage all customers to closely monitor their bank accounts for any unusual activity. If you identify suspicious activity on your account, you should immediately report the activity to your financial institution.

We take the security of your information very seriously, and we regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you. For additional information, please review Frost Bank's notice about the incident, which is available at www.frostbank.com/newsroom/03-16-2018.


Plains Land Bank Stockholders Participate in 2017 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program

Published January 12, 2018

AMARILLO, Texas — Dane and Lori Mullins of Silverton, Texas, recently learned how Farm Credit uses its cooperative structure and unique funding mechanism to lend support to rural communities and agriculture across the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Mullins represented their lender, Plains Land Bank, at the 2017 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Lori and Dane Mullins of Silverton, Texas
Lori and Dane Mullins of Silverton, Texas, attended the 2017 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program on behalf of Plains Land Bank. They celebrated the completion of the program in New York City with Stan Ray, right, Farm Credit Bank of Texas chief administrative officer and Tenth District Farm Credit Council president.


The 12th annual program began in the nation's capital, where the 23 participants joined Farm Credit representatives from around the country in meetings with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Mr. and Mrs. Mullins also discussed policy issues with USDA officials, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, Reps. Jodey Arrington and Mac Thornberry, and Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

Next the group traveled to the New York area. During visits to the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation and a Wall Street brokerage firm, they learned how investors purchase highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds, supplying steady funding for loans and related services. Together, 74 borrower-owned Farm Credit cooperatives provide $251.2 billion in financing to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers.

"Our annual program is designed to give participants insight into the ways Farm Credit supports agriculture and rural communities," said Stan Ray, president of the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, which hosts the Young Leaders Program. "The trip is also an opportunity for these young ag producers to share their experiences and ideas with lawmakers whose policies touch the lives of farmers and ranchers."

Mr. and Mrs. Mullins have a crop and cattle operation in Lori's hometown of Silverton, Texas, just west of the scenic red rock of Caprock Canyons State Park. Both come from cotton-farming families, and today they grow cotton, wheat, corn and milo. Dane also is part owner of Silvercot Inc., a cotton gin in Silverton, and serves on the Silverton school board.

The Tenth District Farm Credit Council is the regional member of the national Farm Credit Council, the trade association that works on behalf of Farm Credit cooperatives and their member-owners.


Stockholders Celebrate 100 Years and $6 Million Patronage

Published April 19, 2017

Plains Land Bank customers gathered for regional stockholder meetings on March 28 and 30 and collected checks for 30% of the interest paid in 2016, a total of $6 million. Over the past 13 years, Plains Land Bank has returned an average of 24 cents of every dollar that borrowers have paid in interest in the form of patronage checks at stockholder meetings. Stockholders also conducted official business and held the annual board of directors' elections. The following directors were re-elected:

  • Daniel Krienke, Place I
  • Steve Rader, Place III
  • Randy Darnell, Place V

For 2016-2017 Don James will serve as Board Chairman and Walter "Rusty" Henson as Chairman of the Audit Committee.


Plains Land Bank Stockholders Participate in 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program

Published February 1, 2017

AMARILLO, Texas — Justin and Lacee Freeman of White Deer, Texas, recently saw firsthand how Farm Credit's cooperative structure and unique funding mechanism enable it to help rural communities and agriculture thrive. The Freemans, member-borrowers of Plains Land Bank, were among 22 agricultural producers who attended the 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Justin and Lacee Freeman
Justin and Lacee Freeman of White Deer, Texas, attended the 2016 Farm Credit Young Leaders Program on behalf of Plains Land Bank. They celebrated the completion of the program in Washington, D.C., with Stan Ray, right, Farm Credit Bank of Texas chief administrative officer and Tenth District Farm Credit Council president.

The 11th annual program began with visits to a Wall Street brokerage firm and the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. There the group learned how the sale of highly rated Farm Credit notes and bonds to investors provides a steady stream of funding that local lending cooperatives put to work in rural communities. Nationwide, Farm Credit provides more than $242 billion in financing to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, agribusinesses and other eligible borrowers.

Next the group traveled to the nation's capital to exchange ideas with Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, members of Congress and congressional staff. The five-day program also included a visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's innovative farming and milling operation.

“Helping agricultural producers of all ages and experience levels be successful in a complex and capital-intensive business is an important part of Farm Credit's mission," said Stan Ray, president of the Tenth District Farm Credit Council, which hosts the Young Leaders Program. “These impressive participants were chosen by their local lenders for this opportunity to learn about Farm Credit and discuss policy issues that are important to farmers and ranchers."

Justin Freeman is part owner of Freeman Bros. Inc., which operates Clint & Sons Meat Processing. He is the production manager of the jerky plant, which wholesales premium meat snacks to approximately 1,000 locations across several states. Lacee Freeman is employed at Pampa Dental Associates. The couple has two children.

This year marks the centennial of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending cooperatives that support rural communities and agriculture. The Tenth District Farm Credit Council is the regional member of the national Farm Credit Council, the trade association that works on behalf of System institutions and member-owners.


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