Providing financing for land, homes and farms for more than 100 years, Farm Credit is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, a financial cooperative owned by its member-borrowers since 1916.
With offices across Virginia, Farm Credit offers land loans, farm financing, equipment financing, home mortgages, agribusiness financing, crop insurance and risk management products for those living in rural communities.
In many cases, Farm Credit makes it possible for aspiring farmers to launch their operations, which was the case with Jo and Rob Pendergraph. The couple began working with Farm Credit in 1988 when they sought out a land loan for their 21-acre operation in Powhatan County. “When we were ready to buy land, we called Farm Credit, and we’ve had a great relationship with them ever since,” Jo says. “They helped us with the initial purchase of our land, and we’ve always been impressed with everyone there because they go the extra mile to make sure we’re taken care of.”
Jo and Rob’s farm, Manakintowne, now raises more than 100 specialty crops throughout the year such as Mexican herbs like pipicha and hoja santa; Espelette peppers cultivated in France; and chicory varieties, which are popular in Italy.
The couple sells their products to an assortment of restaurants in Richmond, Charlottesville and Williamsburg, and they’re often available at nearby markets. “We’re thankful that Farm Credit helped us get started,” Jo says. “It would have taken quite a bit longer for us to get our small business off the ground without their assistance, and we’re glad we’ve been able to build up equity on our property.”
Jo and Rob trust Farm Credit so much that they recommended the cooperative to their daughter and son-in-law, who were seeking a loan to purchase their first home.
“Farm Credit is easy to work with, and they are very accommodating,” Jo says. “They are part of the farming community, they understand us and we’ve always been able to count on them.”