Serious Support for Rural Development: A Banking Partner for USDA-Eligible Projects

posted Randy Frescoln 3/17/2021 in Business

USDA Rural Development

When LSB invited me to join its lending team this winter as a USDA Commercial Lender, I had a bit of a quandary. I was beginning to seriously ponder transitioning into retirement from a very rewarding 40-year career in rural credit.

As it turns out, when you’re passionate about something, “coming out of retirement” doesn’t feel like work. (And plus, my wife prefers me out of the house!)

Rural Areas Need Affordable Financing Options Like Metros

My passion for rural development began at home. I grew up on a family farm in southeast Iowa with a front-row seat to the business of agriculture and life in a small town. During the farm crisis of the 1980s, I developed a real appreciation for how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helped rural communities, businesses, families and lenders address the catastrophic consequences of the farm crisis. In 1983, I embarked on what became a more than 30-year career with the USDA, supporting farm, rural housing and rural business credit programs.

During my career, I saw the challenges faced by those striving to maintain a good quality of life in rural. Metro areas have a regular influx of resources that support growth. The federal programs offered through the USDA provide rural areas similar access to credit that funds the essential business and community infrastructure necessary for a quality of life like that enjoyed by those in urban areas.

The USDA primarily defines eligible rural areas as having 50,000 residents or less, not connected to an urbanized metro area.

The cooperation of the public and private sector can have a powerful and lasting impact. This point was driven home to me while working with Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative members in 1996 to acquire the West Liberty processing plant that was facing shut-down. A shut-down of the plant would have shattered the local job market and devastated the poultry economy in the state.  With help from a private lender and a federal USDA loan guarantee, the cooperative members acquired the plant, where it remains an economic cornerstone in the community still 25 years later.

LSB is Committed to Rural Development Everywhere

During my time at the USDA, I was always seeking community banks with a rural focus that were committed to supporting rural, USDA-eligible projects statewide and nationwide. It was challenging to find a community bank with a rural focus with both the capital for rural projects and the willingness to support rural projects in any locale – not just within a small radius of a branch location.

The search is finally over. LSB is a community, rural-focused bank that has maintained its community-minded values while growing large enough to support projects of almost any size.

That is why I’m so excited to make this promise: I’m prepared to talk to anyone, about any USDA-eligible project, anywhere in rural America.

That can include:

Learn more about USDA loans from Lincoln Savings Bank.

If you have questions or are interested in more about how Lincoln Savings Bank can help you, please contact me.

USDA Commercial Lender
(515) 452-0710

Member FDIC

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