– Bob Ax, Regional President of 1st Source Bank’s Valparaiso Region, offered insight on the status of agriculture credit to the Indiana Legislature’s Rural Caucus during a meeting at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis
Ax was invited to speak to the group which included Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, several state legislators and state agricultural officials.
In his remarks, Ax gave an overview of the various sources of credit available to today’s farmer. While credit is technically still available, Ax cautioned that it’s more a matter of how conveniently accessible, holistic and robust the credit consultative financial advice is.
“Even though the number of bank branches have increased in recent years, most of these new branches were not opened in rural areas, and many small, community banks with lenders who understood farming and perhaps farmed themselves, were acquired by larger banks and were lost or marginalized in the shuffle of industry consolidation,” said Ax. “Today some larger banks wish to divest themselves of farm loans altogether.” Ax expressed that this is not the case for 1st Source, which continues to increase the number of agricultural clients it serves.
Ax closed his presentation emphasizing that there is a bright spot in the future thanks to classes taught by Purdue University, the Indiana Bankers Association and the Indiana Society of Agri Bankers, which seek to arm today’s farm lenders with the tools necessary to serve agribusiness. “We need to get more truly passionate, engaged ag lenders in the business” said Ax, “because tough times don’t last, but tough, financially savvy farmers do! As is often the case, the education of new, energetic, technically proficient ag lending talent is a key part of the solution.”
1st Source Corporation, parent company of 1st Source Bank, has assets of $4.53 billion and is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area. The Corporation includes over 75 banking centers in 17 counties, 22 1st Source Bank Specialty Finance Group locations nationwide, seven Trust and Wealth Management locations and seven 1st Source Insurance offices.
1st Source common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under “SRCE” and appears in the National Market System tables in many daily newspapers under the code name “1st Src.” Since 1863, 1st Source has been committed to the success of the communities it serves.
For more information, visit www.1stsource.com
Media Contact: Angie Dvorak, (574) 235-2000