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Farm Credit – Enriching Rural Life

BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –

Paul Harvey, the former radio personality, once wrote a speech honoring the hard working farmer in America. He said, “And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker’, God made a farmer.” Paul painted a picture of the hard working farmer and rural life that has been forever imprinted in the minds of everyone. Farm Credit of Western Arkansas shares these high views of farmers and those in the rural community that we live and work.

Farm Credit of Western Arkansas appreciates the hard working farmers much like Paul Harvey and is working to support rural communities and agriculture through a variety of financial services. Rex Dollar is the vice-president of Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, which services Polk and Scott County. Rex and others with Farm Credit are working together with the hard working farmer and those in rural communities to enrich their lives.

He grew up in neighboring Montgomery County, just down the road at Pine Ridge and graduated from Oden High School. “I grew up loving the rural life. I lived on a poultry and chicken farm and thought that is what I always wanted to do,” recalls Rex as he thinks back. Knowing that he wanted to be in the world of agriculture, upon graduation, Rex attended Southern Arkansas University (SAU) where he would get a bachelor’s in Ag. Business. Later on, Rex earned his Masters in Agriculture from the University of Arkansas. Rex and his wife Amy, a middle school teacher at Mena, have two kids, Addi and David, that they love raising in the rural setting.

Rex and Donne Johnson, Financial Service Specialist work closely in the Mena branch, and Robin Saylor serves as the Financial Service Specialist in Waldron. Together, they are all working together to provide strong financial services to those working in the agriculture business and living in the rural community. Rex perfectly embodies the desires of Farm Credit, which is to make the rural life experience more enriching and enjoyable. He explains, “I love agriculture and the people involved, serving in the capacity I do allows for me to help them keep up what they are doing.” Farm Credit comes alongside local farmers and those living in rural communities to help finance farms, homes with acreage outside of city limits, rural land, timber tracts, and even recreational land. Farmers can get help with their loans, advice about keeping operating costs low, and even receive cash back through the Patronage Refund Program. “We exist to help farmers and those in agriculture thrive. We do this through a variety of different services, but we want to help them have success financially as they pursue their goals,” states Rex.

Farm Credit embraces the local farmer, after all, it is a local business. Farm Credit prides itself in treating customers with respect and a personable manner. When farmers need somebody to talk to about their business, they can go to the office and talk to Donne or Rex and they will take time to personally help. With their vast experience in the industry, farmers can trust that the best advice will be given. Rex explains the structure of Farm Credit. “We are not a bank, but we can offer some unique services. Sometimes we may be able to provide credit and services to  farmers that a bank may not be able to. Our local banks in the area are very knowledgeable and do a great job, but as a cooperative lender we have some neat opportunities such as one-time closing, fixed interest rates.”

Often it is said that you will only get out what you put in. For farmers, this is good news because Farm Credit is a cooperative and it pays back a share of the profits, meaning, the members own the company! “From Little Rock west, is all Farm Credit of Western Arkansas and last year we paid back $7.5 million to farmers,” says Rex. Farmers have the peace of mind knowing they have a voice in the business.

“The best noise to our ear is hearing our own name. Farm Credit has tried to make our service extremely personable and care for the people in the community,” states Rex proudly. Everyone at Farm Credit understands the struggle of thriving in the farming and agriculture industry and so they are making business personable and caring. Explaining this in his own words, Rex says, “I have been with our farmers when things aren’t going well. We have talked face to face and I have done everything to help them get through their tough times. Fortunately, we often have the opportunity to see them having success on the other side of things.”

Farm Credit takes pride in being a voice for the farmer and those desiring to live the rural life. With many different services, Farm Credit wants to make the rural lifestyle possible, and the farming business easier and more accessible. “We want to do things the right way. We want to do the things we said we were going to do, when we said we were going to do it,” says Rex. For more information about the services Farm Credit offers, or the people they serve, contact Rex at 479-394-1027, or email at rex.dollar@farmcredit.com.

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