Farm Credit of Florida

Financing for Your Lifestyle

By Ruth Ward

John Hall and Zak Seymour

Zak Seymour and John Hall are experts in financing agricultural operations and rural property. They both work for Farm Credit of Florida at the Alachua branch, which is located on Hwy 441. The Farm Credit System has existed for more than 100 years, loaning money to farmers and those that want land in the country.

Farm Credit of Florida is a member-owned agricultural lending cooperative and a member of the nationwide Farm Credit System. Farm Credit of Florida provides loans, leases, and crop insurance to over 2,610 farmers, ranchers, growers, and rural homeowners across the state, with eleven offices serving Florida. Farm Credit of Florida has approximately 1 billion dollars of assets made up mostly of agricultural type loans to a wide array of farming operations and also rural home loans.

Zak has been with the company for fifteen years. He attended Gainesville High School and the University of Florida. John has fifteen years of experience in agricultural education at middle school, high school, and a collegiate level in Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. Together, they are a wealth of knowledge and experience that is valuable to clients.

John and Zak have financed a variety of unique farm operations that people would never think about as a farm. One of those is Shady Creek Butterfly Farm in Brooker, FL. Mr. & Mrs. Smith raise butterflies that are shipped all over the world for exhibits in museums and zoos.

Farm Credit of Florida finances all types of agricultural operations from blueberries to timber and cattle. They also finance rural homes, rural lots, and recreational properties. All with loans tailored to meet the loan purpose and customers’ operations.

When a customer closes on a loan with Farm Credit of Florida, they become a member. As a member, they are eligible to receive cash dividends, which are typically paid annually based on their financial strength. Last year, $10.5 million was distributed in the form of cash dividends, which equated to paying back each eligible customer 27% of the interest expense that they paid in the prior year.

Customers are also exempt from paying doc stamps and intangible taxes on the recorded mortgage amount at the time of closing on any loans held in house. This saves them .55% of the loan amount.

They understand agricultural and rural financing. That is what they do. They know the markets, cash flow of the operations, characteristics of agricultural properties, and have a strong network of third party contacts within this market segment.

Loan products include: revolving lines of credit to finance operating expenses; equipment/machinery; buildings, agricultural and rural properties; vacant real estate including recreational properties; rural lot loans; rural home loans; and rural home construction loans. They also offer other products including crop insurance and leases for equipment/buildings.

Part of Farm Credit of Florida’s mission is to focus on their “commitment to community”. They do this by supporting local groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce, as well as local charities.

Whether you want to add to an existing farm, need a loan for a tractor, start a timber farm, or want to be a “lifestyle farmer”, Zak and John have proven expert experience to help you obtain the financing you need.

“I like what I do because I help support farmers who provide food and fiber products to our local community, our great nation, and the entire world. I love to get out on the farms and work with some of the most amazing people. To be a present-day farmer, you have to not only understand how to produce a particular commodity, but also understand the markets, be tech savvy, and know how to manage risk. The people that I have the opportunity to work with are down to earth, business-minded, intelligent, honest, and hardworking. I work with a lot of customers who are not farmers, but want to own their own piece of the country lifestyle. This could be a recreational tract, timber tract, pasture tract, or a mix of recreational and agriculture. I love being out in the woods, so I can relate with these types of customers.” – Zak Seymour

”Farm Credit of Florida is great to work with. They are experts in Agricultural Lending and provide exceptional service.” – Davis Rembert

“Hodge Farms started doing business with Farm Credit of Florida in 2002. Our experience has been extremely good. Farm Credit of Florida understands agriculture. They have a willingness to work with you and provide good customer service.” – David and Gail Hodge