By Jenny Spink
Agriculture can be a dangerous industry. Many first responders are taking initiative to learn how to prepare for accidents that occur on a farm, around a farm or involving the agricultural world wherever they are needed. Farmers can lend a hand in this process, too. Consider these five steps when looking at farm safety.
1. Prepare for first responders. Create a central information box that first responders can use as a resource in an emergency. Include information like the location of the main water supply and main electrical shutoff, a labeled map of the farm, including all fields, and a list/location of chemicals on the farm. Also, show where livestock is kept, whether there is an electric fence and where the fence controls are located.
2. Establish a relationship with your fire department. Make them aware of your operation, and the scale of your operation. This will give them a better understand if an accident ever occurs.
3. Outline emergency procedures and communicate them with everyone that works on the farm. If you have hired help, make sure they are sufficiently trained to operate the equipment.
4. Be proactive and routinely inspect equipment for potential hazards. Stay on top of guards and shields that might break on equipment, especially PTO shafts. This is often over looked, but a leading cause of injury.
5. Work with first responders in the event of an emergency. Even if you think your way could be quicker, there is a purpose for their methods. It keeps everyone safe and prevents someone else from getting hurt.
Jenny Spink served as a 2015 summer intern at GreenStone. She also organized a farm safety course for first responders.
Ever wondered what exactly an intern does while on the job? Here are some statistics to show just what the Summer Interns did, and how many times…and how much coffee it took to keep them running!
Here are the results!
Top 6 Valuable Lessons Learned
Fourteen weeks may not seem like a long time, but in those short weeks, Greenstone’s six interns have learned a vast amount of knowledge from our professionals. The internship program is designed to supplement the student’s education and give them real world situations to work through. The summer intern class of 2015 shares their top 6 valuable lessons learned.
1. “Greenstone employees often are as observant of market and price trends and fluctuations as the farmers are themselves.” -Henry
2. “Ask as many questions as possible” -Abby
3. “Take initiative” -Rebecca
4. “A better understanding of financial documents and information” -Matt
5. “Bond with your coworkers, it makes your job that much better” -Jenny
6. “Data Entry while keeping confidentiality” –Isaac
Earlier this month we launched our Win Big with GreenStone contest in partnership with Michigan Out of Doors TV! Every week in August we’re drawing a winner for outdoor prizes. The grand prize is an exclusive outdoor sporting experience with Jimmy Gretzinger and the crew.
Last week, Tim S. of Lynn, Michigan won a set of Spirit XF 1042 Binoculars by VANGUARD Hunting. Our next drawing is for a BIG MIKE Blades Camo Ground Blind by Barronett Blinds. Enter by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 to be entered to win the blind, and stay tuned to our Facebook page to learn more about the third give away!
Everyone who enters the weekly drawings is also in the running for the grand prize, the outdoor experience with Michigan Out of Doors TV!
Special thanks to our partners, Michigan Out of Doors TV and VANGUARD Hunting!
To enter and for official rules, visit greenstonefcs.com/winbig.
As the internship program nears the end, two of our summer interns share what made them come to GreenStone.
In the latest edition of Dollars and Sense for Michigan Farm News, John Jones, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending discusses what borrowers should know before signing on the dotted line.
Here are the top 5 things to keep in mind when it comes to loan terms:
1. Lenders use loan terms and conditions to help manage the risk of potential loan losses and servicing costs.
2. Terms include but not limited to:
- Interest rate
- Product, Length and Maturity date
- Frequency and timing of payments
- Collateral requirements
- Disbursement conditions
- Financial reporting requirements
3. A strong financial position and repayment capacity will generally qualify you for lower interest rate.
4. Borrower’s management abilities and risk management practices are considered when a variance to standard term is being discussed.
5. When a borrow shares more information about their operation, the lender is in a better position to provide options.
Read the full article at Michigan Farm News.
Have you ever thought about a job in the agricultural industry? Did you know that there is more to the agricultural industry then planting crops or feeding cattle? It is prime time to join this growing industry! The USDA estimates about 57,900 new jobs, with only about 35,400 graduates to fill them. Trends show a growing need for plant and food scientists, water resource scientists, engineers and even marketers!
Abby Carpenter, a GreenStone Farm Credit Services intern, tells us about herself, how the agricultural industry has impacted her, and why you should seize the opportunity too!
1. What is your degree, why did you choose it?
The degree that I am pursuing is Agribusiness Management with a minor in Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University. I chose my major as Agribusiness Management because it is versatile in the fact that it will allow me to enter any part of the industry that I desire.
2. How do you intend to use your degree in the future?
The long term goal of my education has always been to gain the knowledge to operate my family’s agritourism business. Currently, our operation includes 35 acres of pumpkins, hayrides, a corn maze, petting zoo, and other fall family activities. With 50,000 people visiting our farm in the months of September and October, a lot of planning, coordination, and record keeping go in to making our farm operate.
3. How has working in the agriculture industry shaped you as a person?
This summer is my second summer interning at GreenStone Farm Credit Services and my experiences from my time working so far in the industry will be beneficial. Being aware of and understanding financial processes will only make me a better decision maker and business person in the long run.
4. What do you find the most interesting about the agriculture industry?
Agriculture is an interesting field to work in; no two days or years are ever the same as Mother Nature dictates much of what this industry can do. The aspect that I find the most interesting is that even through all of the unpredictability, the industry still has the ability to produce enough food, fiber, and fuel to meet the world’s demands. The variability makes for challenging times in the industry, but the changes are what make this industry so unique and exciting.
5. What would you tell someone considering the agriculture industry?
For anyone who is considering a career in the agriculture industry, there are always a million more things to learn. This doesn’t just go for people with no prior experience in the industry either, even people, much like myself, who have spent their whole life on a farm, still have the opportunity to learn something new every day. Secondly, the agriculture sector has some great opportunities for young, talented individuals looking to enter the industry. Take advantage of them.
The third issue of GreenStone's refreshed and content enriched Partners magazine was just published! Don't miss a page; you never know where you will find something of personal interest and professional value.
This issue features John Boynton, a young farmer from Cass County, Michigan. We also feature Roger Ruppal, a country living customer, with a beautiful home on 40 acres in Davisburg. In addition to these customer profiles, you'll find news and updates from the association, as well as crop insurance and tax news.
Farm Credit has supported rural communities and agriculture across the country for 100 years, as GreenStone does in Michigan and northeast Wisconsin.
Over that time, we’ve learned to appreciate the vision it takes to remain successful over time in agriculture and rapidly evolving, thriving rural industries. That’s why we’re announcing Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives, a search to identify 100 leaders who are changing the future of rural communities and agriculture for the better.
We’re seeking individuals from a variety of backgrounds to apply for recognition as part of Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives. We believe the future will be defined by a wide range of individual fresh perspectives within rural communities and agriculture. Farmers and ranchers, as well as individuals who represent other agribusinesses, cooperatives, academic institutions, government agencies, community and non-government organizations, are encouraged to apply.
Farm Credit is asking you to nominate leaders who demonstrate qualities in one or more of the following categories:
- Leadership (over 21)
- Youth Leadership (21 and younger)
- Rural Policy Influence
- Beginning Farmer or Rancher Achievement
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Sustainability and Natural Resource Conservation
- Financial Stewardship
- Mentoring and Volunteerism
- Agriculture Education and Community Impact
- Rural and Urban Connection
If you know a dynamic leader who fits into one or more of those categories, we encourage you to nominate them for recognition as one of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives in three easy steps.
1. Consider: Identify the category or categories outlined here that best represent your nominee’s area of influence.
2. Visit: Go to farmcredit100.com for entry materials.
3. Complete: Submit nomination form and brief essay. Nominations accepted until Dec. 18, 2015.
A panel of experts on rural matters, including Farm Credit leaders and representatives from around the agriculture industry, will evaluate and select the top 100 honorees who showcase the ability to build appreciation for rural communities and agriculture and further contribute to a vibrant future for rural America. The final 100 names will be announced in early 2016.
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees will have the opportunity to share their stories, inspire with their vision and demonstrate their leadership through promotional opportunities. Additionally, all Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honorees will receive a commemorative item recognizing their prestigious honor of being among the top 100 individuals positively shaping what is next for rural communities and agriculture.
Three of GreenStone's credit interns spend their days at the corporate office. Here is what they are doing, and learning!