A community bank that has grown to 13 full-service branches serving borrowers across Illinois.
WHAT BANK OF SPRINGFIELD NEEDED:
A Century Farm in the heart of Illinois, tended to over multiple generations by the Borrowman family.
WHAT PERRY WELLS FARMS NEEDED:
On hot summer mornings, Max Borrowman can often be found surveying the rolling acres of crops on his expansive family farm, nestled on the river bottoms of the Mississippi. Like many generational farmers, Max has proudly worked these fields longer than he can remember. “As a kid, I didn’t always have the free time many of my friends enjoyed, but when I went away to college, I quickly realized how much I missed life on the farm,” says Max. Today, he is the owner of Perry Wells Farms, which carries the “Century Farm” designation for having been owned by his family for over 100 years. That heritage is a point of pride for Max, and with four young children at his home in Pleasant Hill, Illinois, he intends to pass that tradition on to the next generation, just as his father did for him. To ensure that legacy continues, the Borrowman family has always taken the long view when it comes to their farming operation.
From expanding their land base, to installing risk-mitigating irrigation equipment, to purchasing grain facilities, the Borrowmans have always made critical investment decisions based not just on immediate needs, but on what’s best for the farm’s enduring success. Their strategic approach is built on the foundation of trusted, long-term partnerships that Max and his family have nurtured over the years, including the one they’ve built with Bank of Springfield— a partnership made even more fruitful with financial tools from Farmer Mac.
The culture at Bank of Springfield, a successful community bank in Illinois with a significant ag portfolio, has always been one that places greater value on relationship building than on making a quick profit. Much like the Borrowmans, Bank of Springfield has always taken the long view; in 2009, the bank decided to partner with Farmer Mac to further that mission. By utilizing Farmer Mac’s programs, Bank of Springfield is now able to sell some of its loans in order to efficiently utilize its capital while continuing to service its customers directly. In addition, the increased lending capacity that results from these transactions allows the bank to establish more client relationships even as they maintain existing relationships with their growing customers, like Perry Wells Farms. “Not only does our institution benefit from the reduced credit risk that partnering with Farmer Mac affords, we’re also able to provide our ag customers long-term, favorable fixed rates we couldn’t otherwise offer,” says Shane Fee, Community Bank President at Bank of Springfield. “Farmer Mac helps our bank—and our customers—take the long view.”
“My family has worked with Bank of Springfield for years. They built that trust originally with my grandfather, then my father, and now with me,” notes Max. “A long-term relationship with a trusted banking partner is so important to our operation.” Through Farmer Mac’s Farm & Ranch Loan Purchase and USDA Guaranteed Loan Purchase programs, Bank of Springfield has helped Perry Wells Farms expand its operation, purchase more farmland, increase its grain storage capacity, mitigate weather risk, save money, and more. The success of Max and his family farm are attributable to hard work and proper planning. By forgoing short-sighted opportunities for those that will pay greater dividends down the road, Perry Wells Farms continues to enjoy success, and the Borrowmans plan for that to continue for generations to come.
Farmer Mac is proud of its rich heritage in helping thousands of farmers and lenders across America take the long view by reducing credit risk, offering long-term fixed rates, and preserving and enhancing relationships between financial institutions and their farm customers. “The partnerships we’ve established with good folks like Max and Shane are a testament to our strategic vision and the success we’ve helped spread across rural America in pursuit of our mission,” says Patrick Kerrigan, Farmer Mac’s Vice President of Business Development.
The cultures, values, and goals that drive institutions like Bank of Springfield and farms like the Borrowmans’ are perfectly aligned with those of Farmer Mac. “Industry knowledge, hard work, commitment, and accountability go a long way in the ag communities, and Farmer Mac has these qualities in spades,” says Shane. “It’s a great partnership that’s a win for us as a bank and a win for Max as our customer.”
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