Having a financial partner is key to the success of many agricultural operations. For father and son Steve and Todd Olander, a long-term partnership with AgDirect – one of the leading equipment financing programs in the nation – has played an integral role in the growth and diversification of their fifth-generation family farm.
The Olander’s business relationship with AgDirect began around 2004 after their former lending institution filed for bankruptcy and left the family without an equipment lender for several years.
“Without AgDirect, we wouldn’t have survived,” says Steve. “We first got connected with AgDirect through Valley Irrigation when we started purchasing some pivots for our rented properties. The application process was simple and straightforward, and their rates were very competitive.”
Expanding our operation and financing needs
Since then, Steve and Todd have worked with AgDirect to finance multiple pieces of equipment for their 1,500-acre grain and custom harvesting operation near Loveland, Colorado.
Using AgDirect, the Olander family was also able to purchase the machinery they needed to support their start-up, Root Shoot Malting, a specialized venture that supplies high-quality grain and craft malt to local brewers and distilleries.
“In 2016, we decided to open a malthouse and shift gears to really focus on grain quality instead of just yield,” Todd explains. “With the amount of growth that’s happening in Colorado, there is a lot of farmland being depleted or developed, so we’re trying to be more profitable with less acres.”
Both Steve and Todd appreciate AgDirect’s capacity to serve as a one-stop-shop for their operation’s equipment financing needs. In addition to ag-friendly loan and lease options, they value AgDirect’s flexibility in structuring payments.
“Anybody that’s in agriculture knows you don’t have a lot of money on hand until you harvest and sell your crop, so being able to time our payments around those periods is really beneficial,” says Todd.
Flexible payments were especially critical when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Olanders to shut down the malthouse for four months.
“Before we got shut down, we were already talking with AgDirect and explaining our situation,” says Steve. “They worked with us to reschedule some of our payments and it’s worked out great.”
Remaining competitive and profitable
Another way the Olanders have utilized AgDirect to remain competitive and profitable includes lining up financing to purchase both new and used equipment at the dealership and at auction.
“When we’re evaluating new versus used equipment a lot of it comes down to price, repairs and the number of hours or history of the used piece we’re looking at,” says Todd. “It also depends on what type of equipment it is. Some of the higher wear equipment, like combines or forage harvesters, we try to buy new.”
The Olanders credit AgDirect’s fast application and approval process on their ability to move quickly when they find what they are looking for.
“It’s important to have financing options to purchase used equipment at auction or privately because it’s available for a certain limited timeframe,” says Steve. “Thanks to AgDirect we’ve been able to pick up some reasonably priced equipment without having to wait and miss it.”
A shared vision for the future
Looking forward to the future, Steve and Todd share a vision for finding new ways to improve profitability and sustainability.
“We’re moving away from production ag and more toward value-added crops. It forces you not to take what is given to you in the market, but to make a market for your product, know your numbers and make it profitable,” Steve shares.
The father and son team are also exploring regenerative agricultural practices to maintain soil health, retain and reuse water, bio-sequester carbon and promote biodiversity in the region.
Both Steve and Todd are confident AgDirect will continue to serve their equipment financing needs as they adapt and make changes to their operation.
“AgDirect has worked with us through all kinds of transactions over the last 15 years and we’ve never had any issues,” says Todd. “It makes life a lot easier when you can get the financing you need at one place and know they have your trust and that you have their trust.”
Hear more from the Olanders or learn more about working with AgDirect as your equipment financing partner by contacting your nearest AgDirect territory manager or the AgDirect Finance team at 888-535-9005.
*Photo by the Brewtopgraphy Project.