Partners_Spring2012 by shitingting

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									GreenStone FCS                                              Spring 2012




Promoting the business success of our customers and the rural community




sPring
mArket outlook
young, beginning,
smAll fArmer focus

the ePA wAnts
your info
getting connected –
more oPtions thAn ever




Home...
is where the heArt is
                                  Editor’s

                                  Note
                                  Any other year and we would just be starting to gain comfort knowing that winter is slowly
       spring 2012
                                  drawing to an end. This year, Mother Nature struck again and has instead left us wondering what
          Published by:           to expect next week, next month, and even all summer long. Though the following pages won’t
GreenStone Farm Credit Services   necessarily provide any answers when it comes to weather, we do believe you will find value in
                                  the industry and association news. This spring issue highlights the future of our industry— young,
2 Comments                        beginning and small farmers. Of course, you will also find the latest market outlook update and
                                  an association overview from your GreenStone CEO. In addition, this spring issue proudly hosts
from Ceo
                                  the announcement of our top performers of 2011. As you begin turning soil and welcoming a
Dave Armstrong                    new growing season, we hope you enjoy sitting down to take a break with this latest Partners
                                  magazine. If you would prefer to browse it online in the future, be sure to sign up for our all new
CEO Dave Armstrong shares
                                  Communication Preferences system. As always, your ideas and comments are welcomed!
his thoughts on an early
spring and more.

3 market outlook
                                    11
Agricultural economist,
Bob Utterback, encourages
producers to consider
marketing strategies before
getting into the production
frame of mind.

9 Directors'
Perspective

Free advise to the younger
generation from three
directors who have seen
more than there fair share of
industry changes.
                                  17 ePA Seeks more
11 YBSF Feature                   Info on Livestock

Five years off the farm gave      The EPA is determined
Matt Wagenson perspective         to capture data from
and solidified his future in      approximately 20,000
the business.                     CAFO's nationwide, but how                                                                  15
                                  with this information be
15 Political Action               used?
Committees (PAC)
                                  Spring Notes
Brush up on your PAC                                                                               Please note: GreenStone
knowledge and know your             6 Getting Social                 10 Scholarships               offices will be closed in
stuff before the fall election                                                                     observance of the holidays
                                    6 Communication                  14 Small Farmer               on the following dates:
season arrives.                                                         Panel
                                      Preferences System                                             May
                                    7 News Update                    18 Staff                         -Monday the 28th
                                                                        Recognition

This newsletter is published quarterly for the customers of GreenStone Farm Credit Services.
Partners, 3515 West Road, East Lansing, MI 48823 • 517-318-2290 • marketing@greenstonefcs.com
comments           from ceo dave Armstrong




By the time you
receive this issue of
Partners, some of                           If this kind of pattern can be        may not be quite as good as
you may already have                        avoided this spring, we may be
                                            off to one of our best starts ever.
                                                                                  2011 for some producers, 2012
                                                                                  shouldn’t be a year of despair
sugar beets planted or                      As always, time will tell!            as long as we can dodge any
                                                                                  widespread adverse weather,
possibly some corn.                         Optimism continues to abound
                                            in rural America as the outlook       geopolitical, or financial market
The unusually mild                          for commodity prices remains          events. Given what we have
                                                                                  experienced over the last three
                                            relatively good. Most protein
winter and extraordinary                    markets (hogs, beef, turkeys,         or four years, this may be
                                                                                  wishful thinking!
early and warm start to                     and broilers) remain strong,
                                            dairy markets have softened           Tuesday, March 13 was
the spring should allow                     due to increased milk output,         Patronage Day at all 37
                                            in part due to the unseasonably       GreenStone locations. For the
ground to be planted                        warm weather. Prices for feed         seventh year in a row, your
much earlier than last                      grains remain solid as do those
                                            for most of the “specialty” crops
                                                                                  cooperative has paid a cash
                                                                                  patronage to its members
year’s late start.                          grown in our territory. Input         totaling more than $108 million!
                                            prices for seed, fertilizer, and      This year’s $23.3 million cash
                                            chemicals are expected to rise        payment was record setting,



     t
               he warm weather would        anywhere from 5-15 percent            averaging nearly a .50 percent
               be universally embraced      with fuel once again being one        reduction in the interest paid
               in states like Iowa          of the highest cost inputs. Oil       by a typical borrower in 2011.
               and Illinois but, in a       prices have been consistently         Many members took advantage
      diversified state like Michigan       over $100 per barrel over the         of the sunshine and stopped
      and to some extent Wisconsin,         past few months, causing the          by our branch offices to
      the weather is never ideal for        price of gasoline and diesel to       personally pick up their check,
      all the different crops that are      climb to the $4.00 per gallon         while those who were unable
      grown. An early spring warm           range. Fortunately, interest rates    to do so had theirs mailed
      up may be great for planting          will likely remain low for the        to them. This is a unique
      sugar beets, but then when the        balance of 2012 and commodity         advantage of being a member of
      proverbial cold snap happens          prices remain high enough to          a financially strong cooperative
      the fruit industry usually suffers.   cover input cost increases this       like GreenStone. While our
                                            year. While overall profitability     banking competitors offer many
                                                                                  Continues on page 5...



                                                                                                 Spring 2012    PArtNerS   2
       MARkET OUTLOOk




                                                                                          industry that cannot handle exceptional
                                                                                          profits for any length of time before
                                                                                          supply increases and demand is
                                                                                          rationed. Essentially, with too high of a
                                                                                          profit margin, supply will be increased
                                                                                          and demand will be rationed. This is the
                                                                                          heart of the price cycle. The question we
                                                                                          are all asking ourselves is where are we
                                                                                          on the price cycle?
                                                                                          One of the economic problems we must
                                                                                          deal with in periods of good profit is
                                                                                          an imbalance or disequilibrium in the
                                                                                          markets resulting from those acting
                                                                                          in their own self interest eventually
                                                                                          making irrational decisions. Examples
                                                                                          of this include the housing bubble
                                                                                          where banks had money [from China]
                                                                                          to loan. Since they had money to loan
                                                                                          and the government was pressuring




    market
                                                                                          home ownership, banks were allowed to
                                                                                          be more aggressive when loaning. This
                                                                                          resulted in higher home values and gave
                                                                                          them the ability to loan more. At its peak
                                                                                          everyone felt house values could not go




    outlook
                                                                                          down and anyone not buying into the
                                                                                          housing boom was a fool. As we all know,
                                                                                          during the bubble it was hard to see the
                                                                                          storm clouds developing; but after the
                                                                                          bubble burst, it was pretty obvious.
                                                                                          Corn, soybean and wheat values [and
                                                                                          now cattle and hogs] have been in an
    by: bob utterback                                                                     exceptional profit bubble since 2008.
                                                                                          Except for 2009, we have seen three
                                                                                          of the highest profit years in history
    before we know it tractors will be running from dawn to dusk to get                   for corn and soybean producers. This
    the fields ready and planted. the only problem is, when producers are                 is now leading to an increase in land
    usually the busiest, they should also be thinking about marketing.                    costs, cash rents, equipment costs and
                                                                                          just about every item associated with
    Remember, the function of the market       these ideas while bouncing across the      production. What are some of the
    going into spring is to get prices high    fields.                                    dangers ahead? I believe debt or leverage
    enough to motivate producers to act.                                                  is one of the basic building blocks of a
                                               Agricultural markets will be efficient     bubble. In other words, when too many
    Once the crop gets planted, the burden     over the long-term in regard to supply     people have too much money chasing
    of proof for higher prices falls on the    and demand. The theory suggests that,      the bull, the market tends to overreach.
    bull to prove there is some reason to      once all information is known, the         After the crest it is a big scramble to see
    be concerned about supply. We call         price will eventually reach equilibrium.   who can get to the exits first. We could
    this a seasonal pattern that needs to be   Producers know that operating at           possibly see a repeat of the 1968 to 1980
    respected even if the prices offered are   breakeven in a pure competition            price range--a period of excess profit
    not as high as the return on investment    economy will eventually lead to the        eventually lead to a time like the 1980’s
    objectives desired. Hopefully while        poor house, and that’s one reason          when costs were too high to revenue
    everyone gets ready to plant, they will    why we have the farm bill. It is also      and producers came under tremendous
    read this outlook and consider some of     my contention that agriculture is an       financial pressure.

3   PArtNerS     Spring 2012
                                                                                                              MARkET OUTLOOk




The bulls will likely argue that today everything is different     this level of strength in the corn complex this spring. I believe
and it can never happen again. This is what they will argue        it will take delayed spring planting and some early dry weather
as the bubble develops. We have ethanol and China on the           concerns to lift prices. If this occurs, then prices could be higher
demand side for corn and soybeans and, in my opinion,              than expected. That is the catch-22 I sense producers are now
supply simply cannot keep up. Granted, the demand growth           caught in. The cash price they want is forcing them to hold off
over the last 10 years has no historical comparison that I can     until summer to sell. This implies they will be completely right
find. I also agree that China, while it wants to increase its      or very wrong with little room for compromise other than to
hog production to feed its people, does not want to depend         put it in the bin and hope for a rally.
on U.S. corn like we depend on Mideast oil for energy. As          Strategy Implications: (1) Focus on selling September corn
end users, they got a strong dose of what high priced corn,        between April and May at 30-plus cents premium to the
soybeans and wheat tastes like and they do not like it. They       December and hold onto delivery on the expectation that, as
are already taking steps to diversify their                                             the crop develops, September will decline
feed source. Chinese government officials                                               to December. This could add 25 to 45
are trying desperately to keep domestic                                                 cents to a cash sale. (2) I strongly suggest
prices high in order to stimulate domestic                                              producers start at $6 and being done by
producers to implement better production                  excePt for                    $6.30. (3) In regard to form, I like limited
methods to increase yields. Since their                                                 cash flow risk. This means embargoing
corn and soybean output is way behind
                                                       2009, we hAve
                                                                                        the use of futures and cash sales until
that of the U.S., they know they have room             seen three of                    July. This leaves only one alternative—a
for much improvement. Yes, demand will                   the highest                    long put. To keep the time value cost as
remain strong, but the exceptionally strong                                             low as possible, buy a deep-in-the-money
growth rate of the last 10 years will be              Profit yeArs in                   put at the maximum cash flow that can
difficult to match. Any slowdown in the            history for corn be tolerated when the market reaches the
global economic system could result in a                                                desired selling price. This position can give
negative imbalance in the global supply/
                                                       And soybeAn
                                                                                        producers most of the benefit of selling
demand situation for late 2012 and 2013.                  Producers.                    futures without the negative unlimited
With the last two exceptionally profitable                                              margin exposure. If we do have a weather
years [2010 and 2011] behind us,                                                        event, those using this strategy would
producers should be in good shape to                                                    still be long the cash and able to take
increase corn and soybean acres for the                                                 advantage of basis narrowing. Again, buy
2012 season. While stocks should be                                                     the put in the spring and then roll into
exceptionally tight into summer, a completely opposite             futures or cash (say in late summer) when confident of yield
                                                                   potential. (4) In regard to storage, I have to say that, with the
pattern could be seen in the last half of the year, having a
                                                                   expectation of a big carry and wide basis at harvest, corn will
dramatic impact on carrying charges, spreads and storage
                                                                   be the commodity producers will want to store this fall.
decisions.
                                                                   soybeAns
corn
                                                                   The soybean complex had two factors going for it through
The March acreage report is behind us. If around 94 million
                                                                   the winter. The South American crop was hurt due to dry
planted acres are seen with a good yield, this could cause
                                                                   weather. This forced end users to consider buying forward
carryover to jump to burdensome levels. Crop insurance levels
                                                                   a little more aggressively than they wanted and that has
have helped to assure corn as a good crop to plant, so the thing
                                                                   helped our domestic prices. The second is corn prices have
that I believe will impede corn plantings is spring weather. If
                                                                   been so strong, new crop soybeans have had to rally to keep
the corn crop is planted by mid-May, a definite down trend will
                                                                   the acres secured. As new crop soybeans approach $13, I
have started in this complex. Granted, there will be a period of
                                                                   believe it is time to call the elevator and let go of inventory
concern as we move into June/July regarding pollination; but if
                                                                   for off-the-combine cash sales. With limited carry in the
the crop is planted and stands are strong, the pressure will be on
                                                                   market, there is little reason to store soybeans; use the bins
the bull to rally this market. The bear will be content to wait on for corn. If anyone is uncomfortable selling cash in excess of
the market to drift lower as the crop matures into summer.         70 percent of expected inventory, place the last increments
In my speaking engagements around the country the last few         in the options market. Again, because of the nature of the
months, I got a strong sense that producers want at least $6       early sales, avoid using futures until July to August. Focus
cash corn. For most producers this implies December 2012 corn on buying long in-the-money puts. Because of concern about
would need to get close to $6.25 to $6.50. I simply don’t see      market volatility, forget about selling calls until well into July.

                                                                                                           Spring 2012     PArtNerS       4
       MARkET OUTLOOk



                                                                                                 ...CEO Comments continued
                                                                                                 of the same products we do, they
                                                                                                 do not share their profits with their
                                                                                                 customers! I hope you are pleased
    wheAt                                       hogs                                             with the financial return on your
    Spring weather scares have passed           The hog market has enjoyed very                  GreenStone “investment;” and, more
    and the reality of a big crop coming        strong prices. Increased export sales            importantly, that you are very satisfied
    down the pike should be hitting the         have really helped the hog market, but           with the service, professionalism,
    markets, if it has not already done so. I   I have to believe most of the bullish            and industry expertise you receive
    expect wheat to be the weakest of the       news is now factored into the market.            from our staff members. While the
    grains that I follow. In fact, poor wheat   Hogs have the same problem as cattle;            patronage payments are nice, you tell
    prices that should lead to feed wheat       how much higher will prices go                   us the most important thing about
    will be one of the factors pulling down     before consumers switch to alternative           doing business with GreenStone is the
    corn in the fall. I assume that those       lower priced food items? Just like               trusted relationships you have with
    following my recommendations have           the quarterback on the football field            our staff. Thank you again for another
    most of their wheat sold. Seasonally,       making the call, it is always easier to          very successful year!
    selling wheat during April to May is        see what should have been done after             The first quarter of 2012 has certainly
    the wrong thing to do. If anyone has a      the play. All we can say now is profit           been active. In this issue of Partners,
    large amount of unpriced inventory on       margins are good, herd expansion is              you will learn about our sixth annual
    hand, the only hope is some weather         slow. Here again, I am more worried              Circle of Excellence celebration
    risk hits corn and soybeans. If it does     about pricing in the summer of 2013              held in East Lansing, Michigan on
    not, I would not be surprised to see        than most of 2012. Start thinking                February 24 to recognize our top 2011
    cash wheat basis widen out as we move       seriously about buying puts under                sales performers and their teams; an
    into harvest. Bottom line: If anyone has    the market and selling calls above the           overview of a young farmer panel
    unpriced wheat, time has just about         market to have a floor and a ceiling             discussion we had between several
    run out. If prices are below $5.50, go      price close to this summer’s high. As            young farmers from our territory,
    ahead and put it in the bin and hope        with cattle, very aggressively contract          the GreenStone board, and executive
    for a bounce. All I can suggest is learn    feed needs for the fall of 2012 and              management team; GreenStone
    from this experience and, when prices       especially 2013.                                 scholarship information; and much,
    give a good working margin above                                                             much more!
    costs, forward sell inventory.
                                                                      About the Author           The year is off to a great start. I wish
    cAttle                                                                                       you the best of success with spring
    The cattle market has enjoyed a very                            bob utterback is the         planting and urge you to be safe.
    unusual situation for most of the 2012                          Economist for Farm
                                                                                                 Farming is a dangerous enough
    season, in that the deferred contracts                          Journal magazine
                                                                    and President/CEO of
                                                                                                 occupation when you are focused, so
    have been premium to the nearby. This                                                        take your time, slow down, get enough
    situation should persist well into 2013,                        Utterback Marketing
                                                                    Services, Inc., located      rest, and be careful!
    but eventually $1,500 and higher breed
                                                in New Richmond, Indiana. He has                 I want to close by thanking you for the
    heifers will entice producers to start
                                                over 30 years of experience analyzing            trust and confidence you place in us
    expanding. The biggest problem facing       agricultural commodity markets, with
    the cattle market is consumers pushing                                                       to be your financial services provider
                                                special emphasis on the corn and soybean
    away from high prices. With gasoline                                                         of choice. We take this responsibility
                                                markets. Strategy updates are available
    prices on the rise, stagnant wage rates     by subscribing to Utterback Marketing            very seriously and value the business
    and unemployment still lagging, one         Services, Inc.’s email/internet services         you choose to do with us. As always,
    has to question how much room there         at www.utterbackmarketing.com or by              feel free to contact me at any time at
    is to push prices. Do not add extra         calling 800.832.1488 (ask for Laura).            dave.armstrong@greenstonefcs.com or
    weight, keep current and look at long-      The information provided is believed to          517-318-4105 if I can be of service.
    term pricing in the summer and fall         be reliable. There is risk of loss associated
                                                with trading futures and options. Consult
    of 2013 when the bear market should
                                                your Risk Disclosure Statements before
    start for cattle. To help profit margins,   trading. Commodity trading may not be
    create a plan of attack to lock up feed     suitable for recipients of this outlook.
    margins from August to October if we        To comment on Outlook, email to
    get a downside price move in corn.          utterback@utterbackmarketing.com.
    Remember, it is all about locking up        The opinions stated herein are not necessarily
    the margin, so do not forget to protect     those of GreenStone FCS.                         dave Armstrong
    input costs.


5   PArtNerS      Spring 2012
                                                                                                            COMMUNICATIONS




Communication Preferences System
www.greenstonefcs.com/communicationpreferences
tell us how you want to stay        “The new Communication Preferences                     and Notifications, Annual Report and
informed, and sign up to receive a  system is an important initiative that will            Annual Meeting Information Statement,
variety of communications by email! help GreenStone better serve our more                  and GreenStone Career and Internship
                                               than 21,000 members,” said Melissa          Postings.
Quarterly publications like Partners
                                               Rogers, vice president of marketing         After making the selections, customers
provide an outlet to share important
                                               and public relations. “With the option      will be sent an email verifying
news and views about the agriculture
                                               to receive email subscriptions of           their subscriptions. Once verified,
industry to our customers and now,
                                               GreenStone marketing communications         subscriptions will begin arriving
for the first time, Partners will be one
                                               like Partners, our customers will be able   conveniently in the customer’s email
of many items available via an email
                                               to stay informed on industry news on        inbox. In addition to customers, non-
subscription.
                                               the go, while not having to slow down       customers will also be able to register
GreenStone recently launched a                 from their busy lifestyles.”                to receive marketing communications
Communication Preferences system
                                               The Communication Preferences system        to learn more about the products and
that is designed to allow customers
                                               will allow customers to choose if they      services offered by GreenStone.
to select how they receive a variety of
                                               would like to receive Partners and the      Sign up today! Visit: www.greenstonefcs.
marketing communications. Customers
                                               Country Minute via email subscription.      com/communicationpreferences.
are able to select one of three methods
                                               A new email, called the GreenStone
to receive marketing communications:
                                               Monthly Update, will also be available
email, standard mail or both, email and
                                               in addition to Crop Insurance Alerts
standard mail.



getting social…
       Facebook: http://on.fb.me/          open Fields
       GreenStoneFacebook                  Blog: http://bit.ly/
       From the latest agriculture         OpenFieldsBlog
       and country living news, to         Open Fields is the
       photos from recent events at        official blog from
       your local branch, Facebook         GreenStone! Our                  post video clips used
       keeps you up-to-date and            authors will write about         for our Open Fields
       informed! Facebook is also          everything from the latest       Blog with GreenStone
       a great place to connect and        industry news and trends,        president and CEO Dave
       interact with GreenStone            to family friendly activities    Armstrong here, as well
       staff and fellow customers!         that get everyone involved!      as videos from various
       twitter: http://www.twitter.        We also feature a blog           events we attend.
       com/GreenStoneFCS                   with GreenStone president
                                                                            LinkedIn: http:// www.
                                           and CEO, Dave Armstrong,
       GreenStone’s Twitter account                                         linkedin.com/company/
                                           where he shares his opinions
       is a great follow for those                                          greenstone-farm-credit-
                                           on the agriculture industry
       looking to stay informed                                             services
                                           and takes questions from
       while using a simple                GreenStone customers.            For those interested in
       newsfeed-like application.                                           connecting with us in a more
       GreenStone frequently               Youtube: http:// www.
                                                                            business-like forum, we have
       provides news and insight           youtube.com/user/
                                                                            created a LinkedIn page. On
       through its Twitter feed and        GreenStoneFCS
                                                                            our LinkedIn page you are
       also shares posts from many         GreenStone’s YouTube             able to get an overview of
       other agriculture related           page is your one-stop-           GreenStone’s products and
       entities including Farm             shop for all videos related      services and connect with
       Bureau and FFA.                     to GreenStone. We will           GreenStone staff.

                                                                                                           Spring 2012   PArtNerS     6
       NEWS UPDATE




    NEWS UPDATE
    sPring 2012
                  greenstone Pledges
                  $25,000 to michigan
                  ffA foundation;
                  Armstrong honored
                  GreenStone Farm Credit Services
                  celebrated National Ag day on
                  March 8 at the 2012 Michigan FFA       Dave Armstrong, was on-hand to             Armstrong was also honored by
                  Convention. GreenStone partnered       make the presentation.                     the Michigan FFA Foundation for
                  with the Michigan Farm Bureau to       “Supporting the FFA is a natural fit       his dedication and service on the
                  host a special reception honoring      for GreenStone,” said Armstrong.           group’s board of directors. He was
                  supporters of the Michigan FFA         "Future leaders of America may             honored with a replica of Michigan’s
                  Foundation before presenting the       be a more fitting title for the FFA.       Agriculture Heritage license
                  Michigan FFA Foundation with           These young people are incredibly          plate that he was instrumental
                  a check for $25,000 during the         passionate about agriculture; I know       in developing during his tenure
                  State FFA Convention session.          our industry is going to be in good        as chairman of the board for the
                  GreenStone President and CEO,          hands for years to come.”                  Michigan FFA Foundation.




    greenstone Promotes             Later in the day,               To close out the
    Agricultural industry           representatives from several    day, GreenStone
    in michigan’s                   commodity and agriculture       hosted a legislative
                                    groups were in attendance       reception in
    capital city
                                    at the state Capitol building   downtown
    GreenStone recently             to promote their respective     Lansing. The event
    participated in Michigan's      commodity and showcase          allowed members
    Ag Day at the Capitol.          Michigan’s agricultural         of GreenStone’s
    To get the day started,         industry. Many members of       board of directors
    GreenStone and Michigan         both the Michigan House         and executive
    Farm Bureau (MFB) co-           of Representatives and the      team to meet with                   shaping policy that affects
    sponsored a live radio remote   Michigan Senate visited         key state policymakers to           agriculture,” said Armstrong.
    of the Tony Conley Show         this well attended event to     discuss the challenges facing       “As an industry, we are very
    on WILS 1320 AM prior           learn more about agriculture    the agricultural industry and       fortunate to have elected
    to the Ag Club breakfast.       in Michigan and sample a        members of the cooperative.         officials who are cognizant
    Several GreenStone and          variety of products produced    “This is the second year that       of agriculture and the
    MFB executives and industry     in the state. The event also    we have hosted legislators          important role that it plays
    leaders were guests on the      included an impromptu visit     following Ag Day at the             in Michigan’s economy.” For
    show, including Frank Engler,   by Michigan Governor Rick       Capitol; it gives us a great        photos and videos from these
    chairman of GreenStone’s        Snyder, who visited each        opportunity to network              events, visit our Facebook
    board of directors, and         booth and spoke with various    with those key decision             page: http://on.fb.me/
    president of MFB, Wayne         commodity representatives.      makers that are writing and         GreenStoneFacebook.
    Wood.


7   PArtNerS     Spring 2012
                                                                                                         NEWS UPDATE




                                                                        candid
greenstone’s Annual                  Farm Credit institutions,
meeting Approaching                  commercial banks, insurance
                                     companies, and other
GreenStone’s annual meeting
is slated for Tuesday, April 24
at 2:00 p.m. at the Corporate
                                     agricultural finance firms. In
                                     addition, Jones will oversee and
                                                                        comments...
Office in East Lansing,              help to execute marketing plans
                                     targeted at large agriculture       GreenStone FCS,
Michigan. Stockholders are
invited to attend and participate    producers.                          “[Tracy Jelinek] is very pleasant to work with,
in the approval of 2011’s            “John’s experience in               plus all of the other girls in her office Jessica,
Annual Meeting Minutes,              GreenStone’s commercial             Gina and Judy.” (Jessica Nicol, Gina Siegrist,
candidates for the board of          lending unit will help make         Judy Knockeart)
directors in regions five, six and   his transition into this new        “We are building a new home and these
seven, and candidates for the        role seamless,” said Jack kelly,    women have been so very nice. My husband
2013 Nominating Committee            executive vice president of         and I think they all need a raise.”
for all regions. Tours of the        customer delivery. “During his
corporate office building will be    time at GreenStone, John has         —Rodger & Marge Reinke
available at the conclusion of       shown he is an exceptional            North Branch, MI
the meeting.                         leader and I am confident he
Jones Promoted to                    will continue to provide our
senior vice President of             customers with the care and
greenstone’s commercial              quality service they have come      GreenStone FCS,
lending unit                         to expect from GreenStone.”         My wife and I wanted to drop a note about
                                     “I am eager to meet the             the success and enjoyment we got working
                                     challenges that this new role       with Mike Forst and his assistant Kerrie Held
                                     will bring,” said Jones. “I am      out of the Manitowoc, WI GreenStone office.
                                     proud to have the opportunity       We honestly don’t have one bad thing to
                                     to lead a great team of             say about the service, communication, and
                                     professionals who are all           outcome of the refinancing we did with Mike.
                                     extremely passionate about the      We were extremely happy with the results
                                     agricultural industry and our       and the advice and intelligence demonstrated
                                     customers.                          by both Mike & Kerrie.

John C. Jones has been               “I am also very fortunate to        I will be referring GreenStone to my friends
promoted to senior vice              have been able to work with         and family because of Mike & Kerrie, but also
president of GreenStone Farm         and learn from many great           because it looks like you have a good thing
Credit Services’ commercial          teammates throughout my             going with your company.
lending unit. Jones assumed his      tenure at GreenStone.”
new role on March 1, following       Jones, a veteran GreenStone         Thank you!
the retirement of longtime           employee, has more than
GreenStone employee, Rick            25 years of service with the         —Brad Weber
Schroeder.                           cooperative. He most recently         WEL Companies
                                     served as a commercial lending        Sales Development Coordinator
As the senior vice president
of GreenStone’s commercial           unit vice president and has held
lending unit, Jones will manage      a variety of positions during
a portfolio that includes            his tenure, ranging from credit
approximately $1 billion of          analyst to financial services            have something to share?
loan commitments. He will also       officer.                                 Submit your "Candid Comment"
be responsible for expanding                                                  to marketing@greenstonefcs.com
the organization’s commercial
lending opportunities with
eligible agri-businesses, other


                                                                                                  Spring 2012   PArtNerS      8
      DIRECTORS' PERSPECTIVE




        young, beginning
        and small farmer
        Advice                young, beginning
                              and small farmers
                              together account for     lynn gould                             when available even
           approximately 34 percent of greenstone’s    The last few years                     though prices could
           total outstanding loan volume. we are       farmers have                           go a little higher. It
           proud of these individuals, and of the      benefited from                         could also be a time
           important role they play in the future of   the rising prices                      to pay down debt.
           the agricultural industry. that is why we   of agricultural                         Young, beginning,
           strive to meet the unique needs of these    commodities. The                        or even small
           driven producers and are committed          profit margins have                     farmers joining the
           to supporting efforts to prepare them       been beneficial                 industry might find value
           to successfully compete in a highly         even with much higher           in looking around at some
                                                       variable input costs,           well-established operators
           competitive global marketplace.
                                                       including land costs and        and recalling how they
           with over 90 years of combined farming      rental rates. This rapid        arrived at their current
           experience, three directors share some      inflation makes it a larger     status. I’d suggest spending
           of what they have experienced in their      challenge for young,            a few minutes discussing
           farming career and shed a light on the      beginning and small             the current economic
           advice they pass on to other young,         farmers to get started or       situation with one or more
           beginning or small farmers.                 to expand. Add to that the      of these farmers to get their
                                                       uncertainty of 2012, 2013       perspective. A lot could
                                                       and beyond—will we have         be learned when you find
                                                       $4.00 or $8.00 corn? We,        out how many paid the
                                                       as farmers, must realize we     highest price for their assets
                                                       are in the some very volatile   (land and machinery) v.
                                                       times regarding the world       the number who watched
                                                       economic situation. We          and were prepared for
                                                       could see slight increases in   opportunities when they
                                                       commodity prices, stability,    arrived. Remember, winning
                                                       or substantial reductions       a bidding battle or having
                                                       while inputs remain at record   the best equipment doesn’t
                                                       high levels. This may be a      mean you will be a survivor
                                                       time to be locking in profits   when the smoke clears.

9   PArtNerS   Spring 2012
                                                                                                 DIRECTORS' PERSPECTIVE




david rakowski                               brent wilson                             are in the area of the cropping entity.
A year or two ago                            We are presently                         When they decided they wanted to
I found an article                           implementing a                           be a part of the family farm, the one
in our statewide                             transition plan                          thing I encouraged them to do was to
farm paper that                              on our farm. We                          go away, get an education and work
gave the results                             have spent several                       for another company in order to
of a brief survey                            years with an                            bring additional value and expertise
done by Impact                               independent firm                         to our farm operation.
Consulting                                   who has helped us                        Recently we added a grain dryer
Group, LLC for a presentation they           walk through this process. We did        system and irrigation. Both of them
were going to do before a group of           everything from personality profiles     were instrumental in developing and
bankers in Wisconsin. In summary,            to goals, mission statements and farm    researching those systems. Each step
these are some of their findings:            financials. This process was very        of the way we met with employees,
"Farming is not just a way of life,          important and we made sure to keep       professionals in the field and held
it's a business. Because this is your        spouses informed.                        impromptu family meetings. I
work, take time for your family              We have two sons who are farming         have allowed them to make major
or family related activities such as         with us. Our oldest, Tyler, is           decisions without second-guessing
school, church or recreation. Don't          presently a partner in Wilson            them. Open, honest communication
become a workaholic. Balance your            Centennial Farm, which is the            on everything is essential.
life's activities."                          operating entity. His strength is in
This business of agriculture is a            working with dairy nutrition and cow
great life and lifestyle. Enjoy the          management. Our other son, Ben,
journey.                                     works off the farm as an agronomist
                                             for a local company. His strengths




GreenStone Scholarship
                                                                 oPPortunities
                                               university of
                                               wisconsin
                                               One scholarship          michigan state           applications to eligible
                                               will be awarded to an    university               students. Completed
                                               incoming University of   Five scholarships        applications are due
                                               Wisconsin freshman       will be awarded to       to MSU by April 16.
                                               that has selected a      deserving incoming
                                               major preference                                  For additional
    GreenStone Farm Credit Services is                                  freshman that have       scholarship
    proud to offer six $2,000 scholarships     in the College of        applied to Michigan
                                               Agriculture and Life                              information, eligibility
    to graduating high-school students                                  State University         requirements, or to
    who are pursuing their agricultural        Sciences. Applicants     (MSU)and have
                                               must meet specified                               print out a University
    interests at the collegiate level.                                  selected a major         of Wisconsin
                                               criteria and submit a    preference in the
    GreenStone’s scholarship program           completed application                             application, visit
    aims to assist deserving students with                              College of Agriculture   www.greenstonefcs.
                                               form to GreenStone       and Natural
    continuing their education in order        by June 1.                                        com/scholarships.
    to prepare for a career in production                               Resources. MSU will
    agriculture or agribusiness.                                        automatically send




                                                                                                    Spring 2012     PArtNerS    10
       YBSF FEATURE




      Returning to His Roots
      Matt Wagenson has a true appreciation for farming, but it took
      walking away from it for him to reach that realization...




         by Jennifer vincent




                w
                               agenson grew up 45 miles west of Green Bay in Bear Creek, where his parents,
                               Jerry and Sue, bought and established a 250-acre farm. They slowly expanded
                               the operation over the years, while raising hogs. Their oldest son, Chris, now 43,
                               joined the operation forming a partnership in the mid-1990s. The farm started a
                               transition from hogs to steers in 1991 and the last load of hogs went to market in
                               1999 selling for a paltry 12 cents a pound.




11   PArtNerS   Spring 2012
                                                                                                           YBSF FEATURE




It was the same year Matt graduated         ideas are born. “We
from high school and sought work off        discuss things and
the farm at Equity Livestock in the         we’re not afraid to try
sale barn. “At first, it was nice being     new things,” Matt says.
off the farm,” he says.
                                            That doesn’t mean
He put a year in and then went to           the Wagenson family
work for Packerland Packing buying          takes spending money
cattle for a year. Matt came home to        lightly. The farm
farm for a stint before leaving again to    has slowly acquired
take a job at Peck Meat Packing.            more acreage and
“I really started to miss farming,” he      forged relationships
says. “There’s a lot more reward in         for rental ground.
planting a crop in the spring, working      Jerry had doubled
all summer and harvesting in the fall,      the farm acreage to
then getting a pay check each week.         500 acres when a
It’s more gratifying to put cattle in       sauerkraut factory
every winter, feed and care for them,       approached the family
and in the fall see them go to market.”     in the mid-1990s about
                                            swapping land. The
In 2005, Matt, who is now 31,
                                            factory wanted land
returned to the farm knowing that’s
                                            for rotation because
where his heart and future lies.
                                            cabbage can be grown
“It’s nice working with my dad and          once every five years.
brother,” Matt says. “Dad, who
is 72, is in Florida right now.
He’s more of a bookkeeper
these days. In the spring he’s a
gopher, who keeps us rolling                there’s A lot more rewArd in PlAnting
with seed and fuel. In the fall,
he’s in the combine.”
                                              A croP in the sPring, working All
The brothers are more like
                                             summer And hArvesting in the fAll,
laborers, Matt says. “We do a                then getting A PAy check eAch week.
mix of everything —we don’t
separate jobs.”
Matt is quick to admit his
dad and Chris had the “ball                                                          always looking at land, but we’re not
rolling” on the farm way before he                                                   just grabbing it—we’re looking for
                                            “We went from farming 500 acres
came back. However, today he’s                                                       profitable land,” he says.
                                            to 1,200 acres within a year,” Matt
fundamental to the operation. “All
                                            recalls. “That’s about the time that     The Wagensons have worked with
three of us sit at the kitchen table with
                                            Chris came on board.” Since that         GreenStone Farm Credit Services
the seed guy and talk about what we
                                            time, the farm has acquired another      to make many of their expansions
want to accomplish,” he says. “It’s a
                                            700 acres.                               possible.
true 33.3 percent decision. Of course,
dad is the elder and still has final say    In 2009, the kraut factory sold 500 of   GreenStone financial services officer,
on certain things, but there are other      those acres to the Wagensons, who        Dan Gitter, has worked with Jerry for
things he looks to us on, especially        still rent additional ground from the    close to 30 years and continues to
with equipment. There’s grumblings,         factory.                                 serve the family with operating loans
of course, but for the most part, it’s      In total, the Wagensons will plant       for their beef and grain operations, as
all three of us deciding on where to        1,100 acres of corn and 800 acres of     well as capital purchases.
spend money.”                               beans within a 20-mile radius and        Like many farms, “It’s not always
That table is also the place where new      raise about 200 head of cattle. “We’re   been easy going for them,” Gitter

                                                                                                   Spring 2012   PArtNerS      12
        YBSF FEATURE




     says. “But they have conservatively        and dry its low bottom land, but have      “My priorities have shifted some…
     managed and made careful, thought-         progressively gone to assisted steering.   from thinking about new tractors to
     out decisions. They were not without       “At first we had a yield monitor on        maybe having something for kids,”
     mistakes, but they learned from those      the combine measuring moisture and         says Matt, who recently bought a
     mistakes—learned to make the next          yield,” Matt says. “Then we put a light    house using GreenStone financing.
     decision a better one. In growing the      bar in, and now the tractor drives         In total, Jerry, Chris, and Matt own
     business, they are focused on earnings     itself—all over a five year period.”       about 1,500 acres and at the end
     and growing net worth. Because of          The Wagensons’ 400-horse-power             of the day they want to be known
     that, they have turned the farm into       combine is driven by satellite. “The       as stewards of the land. With good
     a strong business. Matt knows there        mapping data is helpful for variety        tillage practices, tiling of farmland,
     is a lot of responsibility in running a    selection for the upcoming year,” Matt     and prudent fertilizer and herbicide
     business of their size, and he doesn’t     says.                                      practices, the Wagensons’ goal is to
     take that lightly.”                                                                   leave the land in better condition than
                                                Matt doesn’t see an urgency to grow
     The Wagensons have turned to               the farm at this point; however, he is     when they got it. “The better you treat
     GreenStone for equipment purchases.        growing a family. He married his wife,     the land, the better it’s going to treat
     “Both Chris and I like iron,”              Elisha, in July of 2011 and they’re        you.”
     Matt says. “It’s nice to have good         expecting their first child this spring.
     equipment and we both work to
     maintain it, especially Chris – he’s not
     afraid to tackle anything in the shop

                                                    STRAIGHT tAlk
     and can fix about anything.”
     Matt describes Gitter as a “crucial
     person,” for his advice on purchases.
     “We have a good rapport with Dan;
     he would tell us if our equity to debt               Q: When you were eight,                   Q: What is the biggest
     ratio is there or not. We’ve known                        what did you want to                     challenge for young,
     him a long time. He’s not just a                          be when you grew up?                     beginning, or small
     lender, he’s a friend. He’s a very good        matt: “A farmer. You want                           farmers today?
     accountant and is very trustworthy.”                       to do what your dad           matt: “Getting established.
     However, not all large farm purchases                      does.”                                    If you don’t have
     are financed. In 2007 the Wagensons                                                                  what I have, a foot
     decided to put in a new corn tower                   Q: When did you first                           in the door, there is
     dryer that allowed them to go from                        realize that you wanted                    poor success rate. You
     500 bushels an hour, to 1,000 bushels                     to farm                                    need someone willing
     an hour. That purchase came from the                      for a living?                              to help you, another
     checkbook. “We also added a large              matt: “At about 25 years old.                         generation to get
     grain leg. Our wet leg can unload                          Working away from                         established.”
     a semi in 10 minutes, allowing us                          the farm and realizing
     to keep up with the combine. We                            that there is more                  Q: What advice would
     could have gotten by with the old                          rewards at home with                    you give to young,
     system, but decided to go this route to                    family and farming.”                    beginning, or small
     improve efficiency,” Matt says.                                                                    farmers getting started

     The farm has increased storage,                      Q: Who is your mentor;                        today?

     from 14,000 bushels in the 1980s,                         Who do you look up to?         matt: “Something dad has
     to 150,000-bushel capacity with                matt: “My dad and brother                             always said, ‘it takes
     expansions over time, including three                      both. Dad’s an                            a lifetime to build a
     additional bins and some flat storage.                     amazing planner. I                        reputation and 10
                                                                admire his ability to                     seconds to ruin it.’
     strides forward                                                                                      Be a good farmer,
     The Wagensons have stuck to                                keep things straight,
                                                                and I appreciate my                       practice good farming
     conventional tillage to crack open                                                                   practices.”
                                                                brother’s work ethic."

13   PArtNerS     Spring 2012
                                                                                                 YOUNG FARMER PANEL




2012 young
farmer Panel
greenstone farm credit services recently hosted a
panel discussion with eleven young farmers from
across michigan and northeast wisconsin. the meeting
was held at greenstone’s east lansing, michigan,
headquarters and focused on a variety of topics facing
young farmers and their operations.

      The panel was comprised of several different types          the value of the patronage program. They agreed the
     of producers, ranging from dairy farmers to timber           program helps GreenStone manage risk and build
     producers and cash croppers, and included GreenStone         capital, which in turn allows the cooperative to offer
     customers as well as non-customers. The discussion was       competitively priced interest rates.
     moderated by GreenStone board of director member             Communication and technology was also a hot topic of
     David Rakowski, and was designed to help GreenStone’s        conversation during the panel discussion.
     board of directors and senior management better
     understand the needs of today’s young farmer and what        Many of the participants used a variety of
     they are looking for when searching for a lender.            communication methods to keep in touch with
                                                                  their lender and FSO. Email and text messages
     “The young farmer panel discussion hosted by                 were popular for quick information exchanges and
     GreenStone gave us great insight into the challenges this    provided the producer with an opportunity to share
     segment of farmers is facing each and every day,” said       the communication with partners and/or spouses and
     Rakowski. “We appreciate each of the participants taking     review it when it fit their schedule. While email and
     time out of their busy schedules to visit with us and help   texts are great for short, simple messages, everyone was
     us to understand more about their operations.”               in agreement that maintaining a more personal method
     While interest rates were cited by all of the farmers in     of contact is also important. Farm visits and phone calls
     attendance as an important factor in selecting a lender,     are critical to building the strong relationship desired by
     many of the participants were looking for more. Building     the young farmer.
     a solid relationship with their lender was a constant        Following the panel discussion, participants were
     theme throughout the discussion. Many young farmers          provided with an opportunity to share feedback on the
     consider their financial services officer (FSO) to be an     meeting with the GreenStone staff. Overall, everyone
     integral part of their team and look to them to provide      appreciated the opportunity to meet with GreenStone
     financial guidance on a broader scope of issues facing       and it allowed them to gain a better understanding of the
     their operation.                                             cooperative and what it has to offer. The meeting also
     Building a trusting relationship with their FSO is           showed the attendees that GreenStone’s executive team is
     something that everyone agreed is critical to the success    immersed in agriculture and has an appreciation for the
     of their operation. Having a FSO who understands the         challenges young farmers are facing today.
     cyclical nature of the agriculture industry and will be      The young farmer panel was a very valuable conversation
     there to support the producer in both good times and         for GreenStone’s board of directors and the producers in
     bad is of utmost importance. Finally, an FSO with vast       attendance. These young farmers not only represent the
     industry knowledge is also considered an invaluable          next generation of farmers and our customers, but also
     resource for producers.                                      account for 21 percent of GreenStone's loan numbers.
     In addition to knowledgeable and experienced staff,          Young farmers are important to our business and our
     interest rates are also important to producers when          industry, we are glad to have opportunities like this to
     selecting a lender. GreenStone is able to offer economical   make sure we are providing them with the most valuable
     interest rates and a unique patronage program,               resources.
     setting the cooperative apart from other lenders. It
     was encouraging to hear the young farmers recognize

                                                                                                   Spring 2012    PArtNerS      14
       GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS PROGRAM




       the PAc mentality
           if you have been following the
           ongoing republican Presidential
           primaries, you have probably
                                                 what is a PAc?                       what is a super PAc?
           heard a lot about so-called “super    A PAC is the shorthand term for      As stated earlier, many states like
           PAcs.” we thought we would            a “Political Action Committee,”      Michigan and Wisconsin have a
           take this chance to provide a brief   which is a vehicle to allow a        statutory ban on direct political
           primer on the role of PAcs, super     company or trade union to            expenditures by corporations
           PAcs, and the mi greenstone PAc       sponsor, solicit, and aggregate      and by trade unions. In other
           in the upcoming 2012 election.        personal contributions to a fund     words, a corporation cannot
                                                 used for political purposes from     contribute directly to a
                                                 individuals associated with          candidate’s committee. Moreover,
                                                 the sponsoring organizations         a corporation under such laws
                                                 (employees, executives, officers,    is also prohibited from using
                                                 etc.). Generally speaking, the       corporate resources to buy
                                                 funds collected by a PAC are         independent advertising which
                                                 used to make contributions           advocates for or against the
                                                 to attend fundraisers and/           election of a candidate.
                                                 or contribute to a candidate’s       The now almost 20 year old
                                                 election committee.                  Michigan Supreme Court case
                                                 PACs can be organized under          of Austin v. Michigan Chamber
                                                 state or federal law. In Michigan,   of Commerce essentially upheld
                                                 PACs are technically known           Michigan’s ban on the use of
                                                 as a “separate segregated            corporate and union treasury
                                                 fund.” A PAC, or a separate          funds to directly support a
                                                 segregated fund, is an exception     candidate or to expend funds
                                                 to Michigan’s statutory ban          supporting a candidate’s election
                                                 on political contributions by        or defeat. Despite this, many
                                                 corporations, unions, and            corporations have been generally
                                                 federally-recognized Indian          allowed to use treasury funds to
                                                 tribes. Here, the PAC funds are      pay for “issue advocacy.”
                                                 actually from individuals, but       What’s the difference? In short,
                                                 the corporation, union, or tribe     a fictional Corporation X can
                                                 can spend resources to solicit,      buy television advertising which
                                                 maintain and administer the PAC      supports the President’s position
                                                 itself.                              on healthcare, but it cannot buy
                                                                                      television advertising which
                                                                                      advocates voting for his re-
                                                                                      election.




15   PArtNerS   Spring 2012
                                                                               GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS PROGRAM




The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010             the candidate they support. The Super     interests of GreenStone’s members in
decision in Citizens United v. Federal    PAC then buys advertising to support      the state political process. As a result,
Election Commission was a game            the election of a particular candidate    MI GreenStone PAC focuses primarily
changer. The Supreme Court held           in a given Presidential primary and/or    on legislative leadership, legislators
in part that a corporation or a trade     to attack a rival candidate.              who serve on key committees such as
union has a right of political speech     what is the mi                            Agriculture or Banking, and legislators
which in turn allows them to make         greenstone PAc?                           or candidates who come from areas in
direct expenditures for political         The MI GreenStone PAC is not a            which GreenStone has facilities.
purposes.                                 Super PAC. It is a traditional PAC
In short, corporations and unions         or separate segregated
are no longer restricted to just          fund organized under
administratively supporting a PAC         Michigan’s Campaign
or engaging issue advocacy. They          Finance Act.                        ROLE OF SUPER
                                                                            THE
can now also use corporate or union       MI GreenStone PAC does           PACS THIS FALL?
resources to directly advocate for        not solicit corporate
or against the election of a specific     funds to be used for                Super PACs will very likely play a large role in
candidate so long as it is independent    political purposes.
and not coordinated with or funneled                                          the race for federal offices such as President,
                                          Consistent with state law,          U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House. It is less
directly through the candidate’s          limited corporate funds
campaign.                                                                     clear how large a role Super PACs will play in
                                          are used to solicit and
                                                                              the race for the State seats, such as the 110
To go back to the example cited           administer contributions
                                                                              seats in the Michigan House. A prediction
earlier, fictional Corporation X can      from GreenStone
now purchase advertising to support       executives, officers, board         would be that several Super PACs will
the President’s position on healthcare    members, employees                  emerge to play a role in State races, but that
and to advocate for his re-election.      and members. Under the              there could be a bit more caution in this area
However, such spending cannot be          supervision of the MI               as compared to what we have seen from
coordinated with the President’s          GreenStone PAC board,               Super PAC activity supporting candidates for
campaign. Moreover, Corporation           the funds collected are             federal offices.
X is still prohibited from directly       then given to candidates
contributing to the President’s re-       to support their election
election committee.                       for state office.
So what is a Super PAC? A Super PAC       MI GreenStone PAC is bi-partisan. It is
is a committee which is generally         intended to advance and promote the
formed to support a specific candidate
for office, commonly a federal office
such as President. The officers of the
Super PAC then solicit funds from                 mi greenstone PAc is bi-PArtisAn.
corporations, trade associations, and
unions which is not personal money                 it is intended to AdvAnce And
(like a traditional PAC described                     Promote the interests of
earlier), but money directly from their
respective treasuries.
                                                    greenstone’s members in the
The Super PAC cannot coordinate its                     stAte PoliticAl Process.
efforts with any candidate, but it is
often headed up by political operatives
who have had a past affiliation with




                                                                                                    Spring 2012    PArtNerS      16
       GUEST COLUMN
                                                           TARGETING                                                                      07.2012
                                                           EPA




     ePA wants more
     information
     from livestock
     Agriculture
     one of the more confusing and
     contentious environmental issues
                                                           DATA CAPTURE
     affecting concentrated Animal feeding
     operation (cAfo) owners has been the
                                                         program regulates “point source       Agricultural groups are concerned
     issue surrounding the national Pollutant            discharges.” According to the EPA,    with what the EPA will do with
     discharge elimination system (nPdes)                a point source is “any discernible,   the data. The EPA has stated that
     program.                                            confined and discrete conveyance,     following receipt of information
                 Unfortunately, the recent proposal      including…concentrated animal         from state regulators and other
                 by the Environmental Protection         feeding operations…from               sources, it would publish a list of
                 Agency (EPA) does not seem to           which pollutants are or may be        CAFOs. This is a potential concern
                 have helped relieve this issue.         discharged.”                          for CAFO owners, especially in
                 Agricultural groups are not happy       Let’s return to the October 21,       light of some of the recent animal
                 with the EPA’s October 21, 2011         2011 proposed rule. Under this        rights activist attacks on CAFOs.
                 proposed NPDES CAFO reporting           proposed rule, the EPA is requiring   All unlisted and listed CAFOs
                 rule. Those concerned feel that the     information to be reported from       would then be required to submit
                 EPA has simply overstepped its          all large and medium CAFOs,           the requested information.
                 authority as it relates to regulation   regardless of whether or not they     so, where are we now?
                 of CAFOs that do not discharge.         do or propose to discharge. This is   Agricultural groups provided
                 The EPA’s previous attempts to          significant because there are about   unambiguous comments about
                 regulate CAFOs that did not             20,000 CAFOs that fall in that        their viewpoint to the EPA during
                 discharge nor propose to discharge      range nationwide.                     the reporting rule comment
                 (these are the key terms) were          If a CAFO is not proposing            period. The EPA stated that it is
                 thwarted in the Waterkeeper             to discharge, how is the EPA          committed to take final action
                 Alliance v. EPA and National Pork       justifying this requirement? The      on this proposed rule by July 13,
                 Producers Council v. U.S. EPA           EPA states that its authority to      2012. All we can say is stay tuned.
                 cases. This most recent proposed        collect information under the
                 reporting rule reflects a May 25,       CWA is broader than the EPA’s         About the Authors
                 2010 settlement the EPA reached         authority to require and enforce
                 with environmental groups.                                                    Alan Hahn is an Environmental
                                                         a requirement to apply for an
                                                                                               Professional and Business
                 confused yet?                           NPDES permit.                         Development Manager at The
                 It might be helpful to take a step      What information does the             Dragun Corporation in Farmington
                 back. The NPDES permitting              EPA want to collect? Under            Hills, Michigan. Amy Owen,
                 program falls under the 1972            the proposed rule, CAFOs are          an Environmental Engineer-in-
                 Clean Water Act (CWA).                  to report information such as         Training, also works at The Dragun
                 The CWA essentially made                                                      Corporation.
                                                         CAFO location, owner contact
                 it unlawful to discharge any            information, NPDES permit             The opinions stated herein are not necessarily
                 pollutant (without a permit) into                                             those of GreenStone FCS.
                                                         information, type and number of
                 surface waters, and established         animals, and descriptions of land
                 a permitting program for those          available for manure application.
                 who would discharge. The NPDES


17   PArtNerS    Spring 2012
                                                                                                     STAFF PERFORMANCE




staff recognition
     GreenStone recently recognized its “best of the
     best” in sales performance for 2011 with Circle
     of Excellence awards.
     The Circle of Excellence program is a way
     to recognize and reward those lending and
     financial services staff members who are the
     top performers within the association. Various
     criteria including loan and revenue growth and
     number of new customers are used to measure
     performance.
     Platinum awards were presented to the top
     10 lenders on GreenStone’s staff as well as
     the regional vice president with the highest
     performing region. Gold awards were given to
     the next 10 lenders and the second place regional
                                                                  Each winner, along with the support staff for all Platinum
     vice president. The top three crop insurance specialists
                                                                  Award recipients, was recognized at the sixth annual
     and top three tax and accounting professionals were also
                                                                  GreenStone Circle of Excellence awards banquet on
     recognized with a Gold Award. Additional awards were
                                                                  February 24 in East Lansing, Michigan.
     presented to the Most Improved Lender, the Rookie of the
     Year, and the branch who had the highest percentage of       The following GreenStone staff members represent the
     cross sales between lending and financial services.          2011 Circle of Excellence Platinum and Gold award winners.




Platinum Award winners                      gold Award winners
Traditional FSOs                            Traditional FSOs                            Crop Insurance Specialists
 Ian McGonigal, Grand Rapids, MI             Peter Hirschman, St. Johns, MI              Brandon Walters, Charlotte, MI
 David Meyering, Cadillac, MI                Michael kennedy, Ionia, MI                  Jason Clancy, Caro, MI
 Gordon Tulgestke, Traverse City, MI         Duane Paturalski, Berrien Springs, MI       Travis Bratschi, Traverse City, MI
 Wayne Sevilla, Bay City, MI                 Rosanne Bloomer, Ann Arbor, MI
 Laurie Schetter, Manitowoc, WI                                                         Regions
                                             Jim Byars, Mason, MI                        Ben Mahlich, North Michigan
 kevin Bock, Bay City, MI                    David Ballman, Lapeer, MI
AgriConsumer FSOs                           AgriConsumer FSOs                           the three additional awards
 Cynthia Cole, Ionia, MI                     Lindsay Garrison, Adrian & Monroe, MI      presented during the Awards
 kim knoerr, Bad Axe, MI                     Steve Schaper, Saginaw, MI                 banquet were:
 Scott Sharda, Grand Rapids, MI              Michael Forst, Manitowoc, WI
                                                                                        Rookie of the Year Award
Commercial FSO                              Commercial FSO                               kim knoerr, Bad Axe, MI
 Gayle Olson, Appleton, WI                   Larry Urban, Allegan, MI
                                                                                        Most Improved Award
Regions                                     Accounting & Tax Specialists                Luke Bakker, Ionia, MI
 Bert Sheridan, West Michigan                kelly Tobin, East Lansing, MI
                                                                                        Top Cross Sell Branch
                                             Cindy Temple, Bay City, MI
                                                                                         Escanaba, Michigan
                                             Barb Martell, Sturgeon Bay, WI




                                                                                                     Spring 2012    PArtNerS   18
3515 West Road
East Lansing, MI 48823




            Financing to get the season up and running...



        AvAilAble
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            800-444-fArm


                                                            www.greenstonefcs.com

								
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