Magazine article Independent Banker

An Agricultural Expertise

Magazine article Independent Banker

An Agricultural Expertise

Article excerpt

Ruby Valley National Bank is not much different from other community banks, except our risk threshold is probably higher than most. Serving a marketplace with a population of 7,800, where cows outnumber people by five to one, our community bank has developed strong agricultural lending expertise. Our loan officers are from agriculture backgrounds and keep current on the markets, trends and technology.

Ruby Valley National Bank is not a fair-weather lender, and with the volatility of agriculture, we have demonstrated that we will work with borrowers. We have a very loyal customer base, which is a strong marketing tool that allows us to maintain a strong loan-to-deposit ratio. This has caused concerns with the regulators, but we have resisted and are rewarded with the continued support of our patrons.

Our community bank heavily uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency-guaranteed loan program. A vast majority of our USDA-FSA guarantees are sold into the secondary market, with our bank retaining a servicing fee. In this way, we generate double-digit returns on our bank-owned portion of these loans, which frees our capital to pursue additional lending opportunities and extend our lending area.

Because of our bank's high loan volume through the USDA-FSA program, our application process has become streamlined and we are efficient with the process.

The Farmer Mac loan programs are increasingly being used, as they streamline and automate their processes. They allow for ample servicing fees, with competitive rates and terms. …

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