The GreenStone Story: Serving Rural America
7/15/2019
Looking down on a rural street

At its core, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, like the rest of the Farm Credit System, exists to be a reliable, consistent source of credit for farmers. Stemming from this is also providing the same relationship-based, consistent credit to those looking to buy land or homes in rural communities. The diversification of GreenStone’s lending portfolio to rural land and homes allows us to support the ambitions of many rural consumers. 

This segment of our business, referred to as “Country Living,” represents about a quarter of the total asset portfolio and grows each year as more people learn that we are a viable lender in this market segment. As a member-owned cooperative, this growth into the non-traditional agriculture market benefits all our members.

Creating a diversified portfolio, including products serving rural homeowners, works to strengthen the entire association as well as leverage the talent and resources of the GreenStone team into a broader customer basis. Having this diversity helps offset the cyclical nature of both the housing market and the agriculture industry. 

The country living customers benefit from GreenStone’s rich heritage of working with those with a passion for a rural lifestyle and a team of employees with a vast amount of experience meeting customer’s needs in a personal manner. 

 

Country living products and services are tailored closely to our farm financing products with a variety of features for home mortgages including:

• Up to 30 year terms

• No balloon payment

• Fixed interest rates

• Specialization in properties of 10 acres or more

• Options of up to 95 percent loan-to-value

• Financing for non-traditional homes


Working with customers to purchase vacant land for hunting or other recreational purposes is one area GreenStone utilizes the expertise provided to farm members in order to provide more options to these rural consumers. This commitment and experience is the foundation of our ability to finance vacant land up to 30 years with no building or acreage restrictions. For those looking to add a cabin, pole barn, outbuildings or other site improvements, additional construction financing options provide a complete solution to our country living customers.

When it comes to those looking to build their dream homes, our flexible, easy to use construction loans offer plenty of options to meet individual needs, including:

• One-time close option

• Fixed or variable rate options during construction

• Your choice of contractor

• Utilize land value for equity

• Flexible draws

 
Serving the communities where we live, work and play.

With our strong ties to our local communities, through our products and services as well as long-term employees, we take great pride in supporting a variety of service, outreach, education and youth focused activities in our local communities. Each year we provide both local and regional support at varying levels to activities and organizations aligning with our core pillars of giving. These four pillars provide the structure of our giving and allow us to work with those whose mission and values align with our members.

 
The four pillars of giving are: 

• Agriculture Advocacy, Customer and Industry Relations and Producer Leadership Development and Education

• Young, Beginning and Small Farmers

•  Youth Education and Agriculture Awareness

•  Rural Community Engagement
 
 
Additionally, we offer individual grants to young, beginning and small farmers helping to cover costs associated with expanding their knowledge or strengthen their business. The Grow Forward Grant provides up to a total of $40,000 annually. Current customers are eligible for up to $1,000, and non-customers are eligible for up to $500. Grants can be used for: agricultural programs/events; GreenStone resources (tax and accounting, technology, etc) or non-GreenStone services or consultants. 

 

Because we believe strongly in the need for young people to engage in agricultural-related careers, we also offer up to $40,000 a year in college scholarships to high school seniors pursuing higher education with career goals to be involved in the agriculture industry. The 2019 scholarship winners are announced on page 16 of this issue of Partners. Applications for the 2020 scholarships will be made available early in the year.

 
For more information on any of these programs, visit www.greenstonefcs.com

To view the full article, click here: https://issuu.com/greenstonefcs/docs/partnerssummer19_web/26 

 



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