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Farm Credit Services a helping hand to area farmers, ranchers

100 years, still growing

“Without U.S. production there would be no need for Farm Credit Services, so the fact that FCS has been around for 100 years is truly a testament of how important agriculture is to our country, and the world for that matter,” said Sam Lavigne, Northwest Farm Credit Services, relationship manager at Cottonwood.

Feeding. Energizing. Innovating. Farmers and ranchers have been there since the beginning, and since 1916, Farm Credit has stood alongside them, helping them show a nation and the world what hard work and perseverance can achieve.

Northwest Farm Credit Services is part of the 100-year-old Farm Credit System – the largest single provider of credit to American agriculture.

July 17, 2016, officially marks the 100-year anniversary as the Farm Credit System celebrates a century of supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.

Through adversity and change, farm families and agricultural businesses have made incredible advances to feed a growing world. The success of American agriculture during the past 100 years is unmatched.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916, setting the foundation of the Farm Credit System today. At this time, one farmer grew enough food to feed 10 people.

Today, one U.S. farmer produces enough food to feed 167 people across the world.

Northwest Farm Credit Services (NFCS) is a $10.6 billion financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

NFCS serves its customers through 45 branch offices located throughout the Northwest with their corporate headquarters located in Spokane, Wash.

The Farm Credit Act of 1953 made the Farm Credit Administration an agency of the executive branch. This gave farmer-borrowers a voice at the national level.

As a trusted financial advisor, Lavigne shared, “My main duties are centered around analyzing financials, meeting with customers and approving or denying loans. It is my job to review all of the possible outcomes of a loan and give the customer my perspective.”

NFCS has given not only farmers and ranchers a helping hand, they have also given numerous young folks a great job opportunity.

Jaime Oliver, financial specialist in Cottonwood, works with customers in Idaho, Lewis, and Clearwater counties.

“I started working for Northwest FCS here in Cottonwood nine years ago. I grew up on a dairy farm and when you grow up in agriculture you know who Northwest FCS is,” said Oliver.

Oliver handles country home loans, bare land loans, and construction loans in rural areas.

“I have approximately 100 relationships with customer groups. These range from full-time farmers who have operating lines, equipment loans, or real estate loans to part-time farmers who mainly earn income off the farm, but do have their own small operation to rural residents who don’t have any farm income,” Oliver said.

Oliver continued, “My duties as a financial specialist include reviewing reports to make sure our database is correct, keying loan payments/disbursements, processing both ag and home loans, and various projects going on.”

“When I started working here we didn’t have anybody in the region who processed home loans. I now process home loans for both the Cottonwood and Lewiston offices,” said Oliver.

After recently attending an Idaho Cattle Association get-together, well-represented by NFCS, it was apparent that many cattle ranchers do business and carry a high respect for this agency. Not only is Northwest FCS easy to work with, but their rates often better other financial lending institutions.

“A lot of the employees at Northwest FCS, and Farm Credit organizations around the country have grown up understanding the importance of agriculture in the U.S. At the end of the day I believe that is what sets us apart from other lending institutions. Ag is what we do!” said Lavigne.

“Northwest has been a wonderful company to work for,” Oliver said.

It’s a milestone reached by very few, one hundred years and still growing.

by Shelley Neal, Lucile,


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