“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.”
Patrick Kerrigan, Vice President – Business Development
“In ag country, loyalty to the community is common, and not just because it feels good or people expect it, but because there are many practical advantages to working and buying locally.”
Though Jerry Wiedenfeld grew up working on his family’s Nebraska farm, he headed to college and became a teacher—a rewarding but altogether different career path. He spent a few years away from home teaching and raising a family with wife Connie, but as their daughter neared school age they were drawn back to his hometown of Hartington so she could attend a school his family knew and trusted. Once back, it struck Jerry that his future actually wasn’t teaching—it was farming. So he and Connie started Wiedenfeld Farms and they’ve insisted on local banking from the beginning.
In ag country, loyalty to the community is common, and not just because it feels good or people expect it, but because there are many practical advantages to working and buying locally. For a no-nonsense farmer like Jerry, a bank that is close to the farm and could understand his specific needs was a must. And that lender was Security Bank.
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“Most decisions in life are like those of a baseball team. You have to evaluate what is working and what isn’t,” said Jerry Wiedenfeld.
When Jerry and Connie planned to expand Wiedenfeld Farms’ grain storage capacity in 2012, they approached Security Bank, whose vision for growth matched theirs, and found the perfect fit. Before a single decision is made about a customer’s financing, Security Bank performs its 17 Point Farm Checkup, a thorough analysis delivering a holistic view of the client’s economic position. “Our most successful ag customers always ask a lot of questions. Why should our bank operate any differently?” asks Keith Knudsen, President and CEO of Security Bank. “Most decisions in life are like those of a baseball team. You have to evaluate what is working and what isn’t. We decided our previous lender didn’t fully comprehend our long-term goals and brought in Security Bank to help,” said Jerry Wiedenfeld.
Understanding its customers’ full financial picture is just one aspect of what makes partnering with Security Bank a home run. Many farmers prefer to work with local community businesses for the personal care and area knowledge only they can provide, but borrower lending limits may necessitate other partnerships. That’s where Farmer Mac comes in.
“Many of the larger loans we’ve been able to provide would not have been possible without Farmer Mac,” explained Keith Knudsen.
In a relationship lasting over two decades, Farmer Mac has offered Security Bank access to long-term financing at competitive rates as well as other risk mitigating products. The Farm & Ranch Loan Purchase and Purchase Commitment—just two of Farmer Mac’s many lending solutions—give local community banks the chance to compete with larger financial institutions, and allows Security Bank to keep relationships with growing customers like the Wiedenfelds. For more than a quarter-century, Farmer Mac has been a vital partner helping America’s rural lenders meet the evolving needs of their customers by bringing the financial strength of the nation’s premier secondary market for agriculture right to their customers’ farms. Lenders of all sizes use Farmer Mac’s broad portfolio of loan products to offer more financial choices to their rural customers, helping them keep pace with today’s capital-intensive agricultural industry. “Many of the larger loans we’ve been able to provide would not have been possible without Farmer Mac,” explained Keith Knudsen.
“Whether we’re buying loans or reducing lender risk by providing purchase commitments, Farmer Mac continues to be here to help lenders like Security Bank meet the needs of their growing customers,” explained Patrick Kerrigan, Farmer Mac’s Vice President of Business Development.
Jerry and Connie, along with their son Dan, have put everything into making Wiedenfeld Farms successful, but Jerry gratefully acknowledges the role their lender has played. He noted, “If the farming industry ever takes a rough hit or if we are going to start the next season in the hole for any reason, I have to know our lender has our backs and will help guide us through our financing options. With someone local it just makes me that much more comfortable we can count on that support.”
Because of Farmer Mac’s ability to provide a full suite of products that complement traditional offerings, lenders like Security Bank can bring financial strength home. This kind of chemistry is what makes Wiedenfeld Farms, Security Bank, and Farmer Mac an unbeatable team.
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