Based in Lakeland, AgAmerica is a lending company with a passion for agriculture and land. It offers lines of credit, land purchase loans and refinancing. And it doesn’t do things the same old way they’ve always been done.
AgAmerica Lending offers loans with no prepayment penalties and interest rates that regularly beat other agriculture loan programs, its leaders say. The company’s fixed-rate loans are available for up to 25 years, which lets borrowers count on consistent payments throughout the life of their loan while managing interest risk. “Unlike other ag lenders, we can offer 25-year amortizations, which keep annual term payments low,” said Bryce Philpot, senior vice president of lending. “This is especially important for farmers whose business fluctuates year to year.”
Another option for those interested in taking advantage of the current low interest rates and keeping their payments as low as possible is an adjustable rate loan. AgAmerica offers a conversion feature, allowing borrowers to convert to another more rate-stable product at any payment date.
Also available is a 10-year interest-only revolving line of credit, which Philpot says is advantageous to fruit and vegetable producers. “It’s an operating line that can be used for funding operations, purchases or refinancing. Plus, the interest level is below 3 percent, there are no pre-payment penalties, no resting period required and no annual renewals of paperwork,” he said. “Once you’re approved with AgAmerica, you’re set for 10 years without the hassle of re-doing paperwork every year.”
AgAmerica’s staff includes employees whose own farming histories stretch back generations. Chief Financial Officer Julia Hubbard, for example, grew up on a small farm in Tennessee that had a garden, chickens and cattle.
Other staff members with agriculture backgrounds include Trey Smith, a correspondent lender, who grew up in the watermelon farm business in the North Florida/South Georgia area. Another correspondent lender, Cameron Flowers, grew up on a tobacco and swine farm in South Carolina. Managing Partner Rob Harper is co-owner of Little Gator Creek Cattle Company in Lakeland, which donated a herd of zebus to Polk County schools’ agriculture programs.
AgAmerica Lending touts its commitment to lasting relationships and lending programs that adjust for changes and industry trends such as crop diversification. “Many of our borrowers are diversifying their crops, moving from citrus into peaches and from citrus into pasture. In the age of citrus greening threatening the citrus harvest, investing in a variety of crops helps future-proof their farm operations,” Philpot said.