VIEW FROM THE TOP: PROPARTNERS FINANCIAL
PROVIDING CUSTOMER FINANCING
by July/August 2006
Name: Howard Huebner
Title: VP Business Development
Career: Started with the Federal Land Bank holding various positions within the Farm Credit System.
Education: B.S. Agricultural Economics, North Dakota State University
Responsibilities: Oversees program management and new business development for ProPartners Financial.
AM: What is ProPartners?
HH: ProPartners Financial is a further progression of its first legacy crop input finance program, Partners In Production (PIP), first launched in 1996. It is a fully branded input finance program for customers of Agriliance, Cenex Harvest States and Land O'Lakes. The model used newly developed scorecard underwriting combined with expert field support and is made available to the 500 affiliated cooperative locations in the network.
ProPartners Financial is an independent unit that is owned by a consortium of Farm Credit Associations who collectively have $2.7 billion in capital and $15 billion in assets. It:
• Focuses on agriculture. As part of the Farm Credit System, providing agricultural financial services is what we do.
• Provides customized solutions. The agribusiness partner is involved in product development and makes joint decisions regarding program features, branding, marketing and delivery.
• Dedicates itself to exemplary customer service.
AM: What services does ProPartners provide?
HH: We provide custom financial service programs for agribusinesses. We have program solutions for input wholesalers and retailers, equipment manufacturers, commodity merchandisers and finance companies.
AM: What is your marketplace?
HH: Right now, our largest sectors are crop input and commodity programs, resulting in loans nationwide. Our second largest sector is participations with other lenders and finance companies on credits covering crop input, livestock and livestock facilities. Our newest primary offering addition is equipment manufacturer programs. We service all geographies and commodities in the United States.
AM: Can you tell us about a successful project you currently completed?
HH: In the past year we have welcomed three new input finance companies and are just adding two new equipment manufacturer programs in summer 2006. In July, we an-nounced our partnership with Krause Corporation of Hutchinson, KS. Krause is one of the premiere manufacturers and marketers of soil management and grain drill equipment.
Krause dealers wanted to provide their customers financing options tailored to meet the seasonality of a farming operation and the use of the Krause products. ProPartners worked with them to create Krause Agri Finance, a customized, branded financing program. Now, Krause can provide on the spot loans and leases through easy application, competitive rates, flexible terms and lengths and payment schedules. It is Krause's financing program but ProPartners funds all approved loan and lease requests and provides full support.
We also are expanding the number of crops and industries that we are servicing, and we are increasingly active in California and other western states.
AM: What is the ProPartners business structure?
HH: Our main office and processing center is in St Paul, MN. We also have a significant processing center in Bloomington, IL, and business development and program management based in Fargo, ND. Additional staff is strategically positioned in the nation to further serve our partners.
AM: How does ProPartners handle its sales and marketing?
HH: Our marketing professionals have the background and experience to develop and support programs throughout the United States. The staff is involved in building a customized program solution with the agribusiness partner from the ground up. Once a program is built and delivered to the marketplace, ProPartners Financial staff is in the field with ongoing corporate and field support
AM: What is your current portfolio?
HH: We presently have 14 program partnerships. These programs generate $650 million in commitments to nearly 6,000 farmer growers and ranchers. We operate throughout the nation with loans in 36 states.
AM: Where are your opportunities in the next three years?
HH: We will continue to be flexible and adapting to the changing landscape of agriculture in the US. We are developing new financial products, and implementing new technology systems to enhance delivery and are always seeking new marketplace opportunities. With carefully chosen agribusiness partners we expect to surpass the $1 billion level.
For more information about us, go to www.thepropartners.com.