William Edwards, Faculty, Economics
Approximately 50 percent of the credit extended to Iowa farmers is provided by small community banks. Accurate analysis of loan applications, adequate loan servicing, and compliance with legal lending requirements are crucial to making successful agricultural loans. Yet, small independent banks do not have access to experienced in-house training programs for new employees. Many agricultural loan officers are recruited from other occupations or other divisions within their bank and either have little agricultural experience or little training in financial management.
To strengthen the professional skills of agricultural lenders and other credit managers so that they meet the financing needs of Iowa farmers while at the same time protecting the capital of depositors and stockholders.
A 5-day workshop was held at Iowa State University with loan officers from independent banks in Iowa and neighboring states as the target audience. In-depth discussions were held on lending for crop production, livestock production and farm real estate, managing credit risk, and financing farm expansion. The 40 participants will return next year for advanced training in credit analysis, financing complex farm businesses, financing farmer-owned businesses, and managing problem loans. The second year class is led by Robert Jolly.
I coordinated the program, recruited speakers, and led 9 hours of discussion. Other presenters included ISU Extension faculty and field specialists, successful agricultural lenders, Iowa Bankers Association employees, and Iowa producers. Gross revenue of $29,000 was generated from registration fees paid by the first-year class.
Of the 31 participants who completed the ending evaluation, 19 gave the school an overall rating of excellent, 11 rated it very good, and one rated it fair. Some comments from participants were:
“As a beginning lender I was very impressed.”
“I finally understand futures contracts, puts and call. Thanks!”
“I found the case studies to be the most helpful.”
120 Farm and Business Management
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August 25, 2008
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