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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.


The Legacy of Agriculture in Texas and How Farm Credit Keeps It Thriving

Published October 23, 2019

Plains Land Bank has helped to build the agricultural legacy in Texas. Whether it was a small family farm loan or a loan for operation expansion, there is no denying that Plains Land Bank loan programs have played a key role in Texas agriculture.

Are you ready to become a part of the legacy of agriculture and Own a Piece of Texas? A farm loan can help you start living the dream.

Agricultural History in Texas

Modern Texan agriculture began in "Spanish Texas" around 1700. During this early modern farming period, it was more large gardens attached to missionary buildings that would feed the surrounding communities. By the end of the 1700s, one of the first agricultural irrigation systems was built in San Antonio. The success of this first irrigation ditch which was over 2 miles long, was really the birthing of the modern agricultural movement in Texas.

By 1821 when Mexico was liberated from Spain, the Mexican government was trying to encourage Anglo settlers to the region. Each settler that came to Texas to farm would receive about 4,338 acres for livestock and about 177 acres to grow food. American settlers came from the east in droves, eventually taking Texas back from Mexico, and settling large swatches of land for agricultural purposes.

Plains Land Bank And The Farm Credit System

Plains Land Bank was created as part of the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 to increase credit for rural family farmers. The act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. Since the beginning, the National Farm Loan Association acted as a cooperative meaning the borrowers also owned shares of the association.

Initially, there was a federal farm loan board, twelve regional farm loan banks and every small community had its own association. Before Plains Land Bank practically every county had a local National Farm Loan Association office. Over time, the associations in our territory came together and formed the Federal Land Bank Association of Amarillo, the Caprock-Plains FLBA and the High Plains FLBA. The associations merged in 1997 and formed Panhandle-Plains Land Bank. In 2015, we simplified our name to Plains Land Bank, but we remain focused on what we do best—helping you own a piece of Texas.

It's Your Turn

Plains Land Bank can help you purchase the land you need to start or expand your farming operation. It's your turn to become a part of the legacy of agriculture in Texas.


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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