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From the beginning, Machias Savings Bank has been dedicated to affordable farm financing—150 years of helping our friends and neighbors buy land, build barns, purchase equipment, plant new crops, and bring their products to new markets.
We know not all commercial banks are willing to get down in the dirt and figure out effective farm financing. Machias Savings Bank can—and does. From blueberry barrens to potato fields to dairy sheds to sugar shacks, our personal business bankers are always willing to get a little mud on their boots to make good things happen for Maine farmers.
In fact, many of our Maine agricultural loan officers and staff, including our current and former CEOs, grew up working on farms or farm part-time themselves.
“I’m a sixth-generation Maine potato farmer and my boy is the seventh,” Chris Fitzpatrick, Executive Vice President of Business Banking in our Houlton branch, says proudly. “Hailing from a small rural community is a real advantage when you are writing farming loans. I’m not a banker learning about farming. I’m a farmer who learned how to bank. And loans for farming will always feel close to home.”
Our lending officers are also highly experienced bankers with deep knowledge of the resources available for Maine farmers. “I worked in Farm Credit at the FCA before moving over to Machias,” says Kenneth Stewart, AVP Banker at our Presque Isle branch. “We work closely with the Maine Department of Agriculture and the federal government to make sure Maine farmers can access all of the grant programs and specialized loans they need to succeed.”
We speak your language. We love the farming life. And we have developed a wide range of loans for farming that can be customized for your growing cycle, crops, and business goals.
While most Maine farms are family-owned across generations, Machias Savings Bank does provide loans for farming to help new farmers break ground. “It isn’t easy to start farming from scratch,” Chris acknowledges. “For most, you are born into it or you buy into it. This isn’t a hobby. Farming is a capital-intensive, highly cyclical business.”
First time farmer’s loans and farm start-up loans can give new farmers a head start, however, and these loans can be key to keeping working farms independent as the overall population of Maine farmers ages. “The average age of a Maine farmer is now over 60,” explains Kenneth Stewart. “There is a generational shift happening in Maine agriculture and farm funding can be a great way to keep farms functioning as farmers retire.”
We don’t just write business loans. We help build businesses. Your personal banker can connect you with a wide range of business development resources designed just for farmers.
For loggers moving into new stands of timber or farmers hoping to expand their fields, land loans in Maine are great ways to encourage growth. And overall, Maine farms are expanding.
“When I was a kid, a 400- to 500-acre potato farm was a huge enterprise. Today, that farm would be considered small,” Chris Fitzpatrick reflects. “Helping farmers take advantage of economies of scale can put them on firmer footing.”
Kenneth Stewart agrees. “Most people don’t know that under the right conditions, Maine Rural Development Loans and other USDA loan products can be used to buy land,” he explains. “When it comes to loans for expanding operations, we can really give farmers the lay of the land.”
Keeping Maine lands in the hands of working farms can sustain some of our most rural counties and communities. Talk to our business bankers about expanding your farming enterprise into new pastures.
As farmers scale up operations or struggle to fill their seasonal workforce, agricultural equipment loans become increasingly common. “Farming equipment can cost a lot of money,” Chris Fitzpatrick explains. “And cash flow is a challenge for any business. Equipment loans can help farmers spread out their costs. We encourage farmers to consider quality used farming equipment, particularly on components that won’t see a lot of use over the course of a year, and we offer flexible repayment plans that allow for interest-only payments while you are waiting for the harvest—and the money—to come in.”
“Labor shortages on Maine farms are as regular as rain,” Kenneth Stewart agrees. “We are seeing a lot of Maine farmers invest in equipment that cuts down on their need for short-term or seasonal hiring. This can be a forward-thinking move for Maine farms and our equipment loans and machinery loans make it possible.”
Sit down with a Machias Savings Bank business banker, share the challenges your business faces, and let us show you how business equipment loans can help.
Not all farming financing needs to be done through traditional term loans. Many Maine farmers rely on revolving credit lines for affordable and fast access to cash—to purchase seeds and fertilizer, to pay seasonal laborers, and more—during slower times of the growing cycle.
“Blueberry farmers harvest their crop, put it in cold storage, and still have months to wait before they will hear the price that crop will bring on the market. Bridging the cash flow gap that is built into their business model takes some creativity,” Chris Fitzpatrick says. “A robust and flexible business line of credit can be a farmer’s best friend.”
Like many Machias Savings Bank agricultural loan products, business lines of credit for Maine farms offer low agricultural loan interest rates and highly customizable repayment options that won’t break your business plan.
A business line of credit can be approved fast so you have the financing you need in hand. Talk to your personal business banker about setting one up today.
We are a Maine bank focused solely on Maine businesses, and we know agriculture and farming. From the dirt.
Business Banking that moves Maine forward.Should we be part of your story?
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As a customer of Machias Savings Bank, the focus is on you. We will enhance your banking relationship by working with you to discover your banking needs. We will be there when you need us.
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Routing Number: 211274531
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NMLS Number: 469539
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