For north Florida cattleman Jim Farley, dealing with ordinary banks has been a struggle. From trying to explain the cattle business to out of state bankers who have never seen a Florida cow pasture, and even giving anatomy lessons to traditional local bankers, he was tired of having to explain the validity of his industry. It wasn't until he met with Farm Credit that he found a lender that understood him and his business.
"Have you ever seen the way a dog looks at you with a tick in his ear? He kind of cocks his head to the side and looks at you real funny. That's how other banks have looked at me in the past when I've tried to do business with them," Jim Farley said. "Farm Credit knows which end of the cow eats and that's why I do business with them."
Perhaps the most attractive thing about Farm Credit to Farley was locality. He appreciates that he can stop by the local Palatka branch and he even meets with his relationship manager in his pasture.
"When you deal with Farm Credit you're not dealing with some banker in Montana, who has no bearing on what you're doing down here in Florida," Farley said. "It is great to have somebody local that knows first-hand what you're needs are and what your expectations are."
Beyond being local, Farley also enjoys the ease of doing business with a lender that prides itself on being agricultural experts. The education process he was used to going through with other lenders was not necessary with Farm Credit.
"From the minute you sit down with Farm Credit and start talking business, they relate," Farley said. "They understand what you're doing right off the bat, and they actually understand the difference between a bull and a cow."
With cattle prices constantly fluctuating, having a good relationship with a lender that understands the market was extremely important.
"Farm credit knows the ups and the downs of the cattle business in Florida and the industry in general," Farley said. "It makes it a lot more pleasurable experience and a lot more comforting experience knowing your dealing with a person that knows exactly how volatile the market can be."
While he is in the cattle business to make money, Farley also enjoys the lifestyle of being a rancher.
"My favorite part of being in the cattle business is just getting up and doing it every day," Farley said. "It's never been much of a job to me; it's a way of life that I am able to make a living at. Now that is dollars and sense."