“Our job at Farmer Mac is to take what’s already good—a lender’s relationship with a customer, for example—and really make it shine. We’re there to offer better rates and terms to farmers, and a broad array of solutions to ag lenders, no matter the business climate. At Farmer Mac, we don’t make loans, we make them better.”
Curt Covington, Executive Vice President – Chief Credit Officer
“Our grandpa started this farm, and farming is really the only thing I ever wanted to do,” explained Rick.
For as long as they can remember, brothers Rick and Mike Petersen have worked on their family’s farm in the southwestern Minnesota town of Redwood Falls, and neither can imagine being truly happy doing anything else. Mike recalls regularly coming home, as early as elementary school, with one thought in mind: “What is Dad doing today?” He and his brother would run out to find their father in the field and put themselves to work. “Our grandpa started this farm, and farming is really the only thing I ever wanted to do,” explained Rick. “My nephew, Alex, is now the fourth generation in our family to farm this land, and I couldn’t be prouder of that tradition.”
With around 2,500 acres of corn, sugar beets, soybeans, peas, and alfalfa on Petersen Farms, there’s always enough growing to keep everyone busy—including their lender. Luckily for co-owners Rick and Mike, they have a successful relationship with ag lender Minnwest Bank that spans 30 years, and like the Petersens, Minnwest Bank is rooted in the land.
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Although it has grown to be one of the region’s largest lenders, with offices in 19 communities throughout Minnesota and South Dakota, its founders are still farm owners—and those origins offer an intimate understanding of the challenges its customers face.
The fluctuating ag market environment results in ever-changing financing needs. To help meet those demands, Minnwest Bank has partnered with Farmer Mac for solutions to better serve its ag customers with long-term financing at competitive rates. Farmer Mac was created to deliver capital and cutting-edge loan products for the benefit of American agriculture and rural communities. By bringing the financial strength of the agricultural secondary market right to the farm, Farmer Mac helps rural lenders meet the evolving needs of their customers.
“Because of Farmer Mac, we’ve financed over $50 million in fixed-rate loans that we likely otherwise wouldn’t have secured,” noted Dan Koster, Minnwest’s Regional President. “The ag-financing knowledge coupled with the efficiency with which it operates makes Farmer Mac an invaluable partner for us and our customers like the Petersens,” he added.
“Our products have evolved along with the needs of ag lenders,” said Patrick Kerrigan, Farmer Mac’s Director of Business Development. “That’s one of the many reasons we’ve sustained such successful long-term relationships with partners like Minnwest Bank.”
Minnwest farm customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the innovative financing products Farmer Mac offers through the bank. Mike Petersen explained, “Over the years, we have simply come up with a plan for growing our farm operation and Minnwest explains how we should fund it. They have deep experience in farm financing and their partnership with Farmer Mac allows us to execute our strategy.” Petersen continued, “Through hard work and our relationship with Minnwest, we have seen our operation triple in size since its inception.”
Farmer Mac’s proud roots in rural and agricultural communities echo those of Minnwest and Petersen Farms. Rick Petersen explained it this way: “We can smell the corn, the alfalfa, and the diesel while we look around at the people who mean the most to us—our family. That’s our life.” That’s Farmer Mac’s, too.
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