Trade associate update – Premier Ag Finance, Inc.

 – Working for agriculture –

Philip Grigsby (left) and Dale Johnson adjust their schedules to meet the needs of producers.

Agriculture continues to play a substantial role in the American economy. Those who farm need flexible, personalized financing options and that’s why two men with years of knowledge and experience in both the lending and farming industries came together in 2015 to create Premier Ag Finance. During the past year, Premier’s relationship with the federal farm loan agency Farmer Mac has allowed the company to help satisfy those individual-specific needs for producer-borrowers.

The company’s principal owners are Dale Johnson and Philip Grigsby. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and has been a licensed Florida CPA for 23 years. Having worked in public accounting for a Florida regional firm for seven years specializing in tax and audit accounting for large row crop, citrus and cattle operations, he offers a unique perspective when analyzing the financial position of the borrower. Grigsby is a fourth-generation agricultural producer with a degree in ranch management from Texas Christian University. He is extensively involved in his family’s operations, which have ranged from citrus and cattle to row crop farming.

“Owning cattle, citrus groves and land gives us an understanding of the different industries and is often helpful in the underwriting process,” Grigsby said.

Because of both men’s knowledge of the industry, their desire is to put the borrower first. Through their association with Farmer Mac, Johnson and Grigsby are able to offer a variety of product options that are specifically tailored to the borrower, ensuring the best chance of success.

Premier is located in Florida, so it has specialized knowledge in long-term financing solutions for row crops, citrus groves and cattle operations. However, through its association with Farmer Mac, Premier also has access to knowledge and information that gives them the ability to offer unique loan products for a wide variety of farming operations throughout the United States.

“Having all our loans with Farmer Mac really works to the borrower’s advantage,” Johnson said. “In previous lending experiences with a different company, I went to Farmer Mac indirectly. In the past year, working with Philip, we have been able to go directly to them. This is very important because if we submit a loan and the underwriter questions something in the file, we now have the ability to go back to the borrower and gather whatever information, documentation and support that we need for the underwriter to be comfortable with the file, and to put the borrower in the best position for an approval. If needed, we can even explore restructuring the loan on different terms. In the past, I would have just been turned down.”

A testament to Premier’s commitment to their clients is the continued relationship with borrowers throughout the life of the loan. “We start the application process, and we work with the borrower all the way through closing. After closing we are the contact for the life of the loan,” Johnson said.

Premier specializes in long-term real estate financing based on a 25-year amortization with long–term fixed rates or variable rates, depending on the borrower’s preference.

“When we offer these 25-year low interest loans, we tell them, sure, you may fully intend to pay this off in ten years. But don’t box yourself in a corner,” said Johnson. “What if you get hurt or you want to buy new equipment in a few years? We try to look further down the line so their money isn’t tied up if they want to expand or if something unexpected happens.”

Additionally, Premier Ag Finance offers a 10-year agriculture equity revolving line of credit with a five-year review that does not require an annual qualification or renewal fee and there is no requirement that it be “rested’ during the loan period.

Premier Ag Finance often presents several financing choices so a borrower can select the best option. Johnson and Grigsby are accessible after 5 p.m. and on the weekends and will work around the borrower’s schedule.

“The quality of people you meet in farming are top-notch. We’re fortunate to work with them,” said Johnson. “When someone tells you, ‘We’re going to make the payment,’ they make the payment. It’s in their genetics. We’re fortunate to be part of that,” Johnson said.

Reach Dale Johnson or Philip Grigsby at 863-659-1622. They’re located in Lake Placid at 1511 U.S. Highway 27 S. Email Dale Johnson at and Philip Grigsby at

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