How does AgDirect compare to other financing options?
Considering the recent drought and commodity prices, what my dad went through in the ‘80s is similar to what a lot of people here in the Texas High Plains are going through now. We have to step up and make the changes needed to survive, which is tough to do with traditional financing.
Often times, when you sit down with a banker in a region like ours where dad and grandad grew cotton, and you tell your banker you want to grow wine grapes and what it’s going to cost, most banks respond with, “Just grow cotton. We know that.” But the Farm Credit System and AgDirect have stepped up and become involved in the Texas wine industry. I experienced a lot of pain watching what my dad and others suffered through in the ‘80s. It made me more open-minded to do whatever it takes to be successful, and I hope to be able to use this strategy to help my kids start farming.
Going forward as an equipment dealer, it’s critical we have a retail lender that is open-minded to new equipment brands, new technology and new ideas. We feel like Farm Credit and AgDirect have worked well with us through these changing times and are vested in helping us as a dealer and our retail customers find alternatives to meet the challenges we’re up against.
What is it like to work with AgDirect?
When we call AgDirect for both our own business and for our dealership’s retail customers, we feel like they’re genuinely interested in not only getting customers financed, but finding the best terms. We really enjoy working with them and they are our go-to retail financing.
What is your business philosophy?
We want to look to the future and be open-minded to opportunities, but yet realistic on what the possibilities truly are. A lot of times, opportunities look strange because they are “outside the box” for a region. The Texas High Plains isn’t Napa Valley, but it’s an excellent place to grow wine grapes. We feel like the possibilities for the Texas wine industry are infinite and we want to be a part of those possibilities. We want to expand our operation by growing grapes, selling vineyard equipment and long-term, we may see the opportunity to make wine, which my daughter is interested in. I want to be open-minded, but I don’t want to be so diverse that we don’t take care of what we have.
Why did you choose farming as a career?
I knew when I was 11 that I wanted to be a farmer. I have a vivid memory as a child of walking behind my dad, who was a big, tall guy. I would jump and reach as far as I could to put my feet where his feet had walked. I truly wanted to follow in his footsteps.