It’s always good to see farmers who discover new ways to make an operation profitable. Oscar and Melinda Vizcarra of Becker Farms have one of those stories. According to this article, they also have a great slogan: “Get big or get out.”
How that translates for the Buffalo farmers was turning a farm that had nothing but a few cherry trees into an operation that draws millions of people a year. They did it by holding weddings on their property. They opened a winery and a brewery. And they added a you-pick-it apple vineyard.
Such additions to a farm would have been unheard of 40 years ago, and maybe even just two decades ago. Luckily people seem to have a new-found respect for farming, and that means farms have the new-found ability to be something of a tourist draw. Suddenly that unused piece of the back 40 could become a pick-your-own strawberry patch, or that old apple grove could become the path for hay rides.
If you’re wondering how a farmer could afford all those additions, that’s where Bankers South comes in to help with your ag lending needs. We specialize in all kinds of agricultural lending, from ranch financing, to timberland loans, to citrus loans.
For many farmers, our AgAmerica program is the way to go. Rates are comparable or lower than any other farm loan rates, and there’s often far less paperwork than similar commercial farm loans.
There’s also the option to refinance an existing ag loan in order to take equity out of a piece of property. This allows many farmers to fund needed repairs or to expand operations.
We also offer traditional lending options, or hard money loans, that often allow farmers to add new equipment or property. You can imagine a farmer, like that couple from Buffalo, using this type of loan to build an on-site brewery or a gazebo to hold weddings.
In that article, Oscar Vizcarra said his secret is listening to customers, sometimes walking among them without saying he owns the place. He said: “Nobody knows who the owner is. I wear my jeans. I do my homework. I’m sensitive to what people want.”