Harvest Capital Company: Serving farmers’ financial needs

Harvest Capital Company: Serving farmers' financial needs

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Harvest Capital Company of Canby, Ore., founded in 1992 by Brian Field, began as an idealist’s desire to serve agriculture and the business of real estate finance.

Since then, it has grown into one of the largest commercial agricultural real estate lenders in the Northwest.

“Harvest Capital is a boots-on-the-ground lender,” Field said. “We are intimately and integrally involved with each one of our borrowers through the experience of structuring their operation with long-term financing, from start to finish.”

“It’s not just about money to us; it’s an ingredient for the stabilization of balance sheet structure and success for our family farms and ranches scattered throughout the Northwest,” Field said. “We want to enhance and add to that picture, and we do that through very intense planning that involves our customer’s agricultural real estate finances and, quite often, their entire structure into the future.”

“We get involved in all aspects of assisting our customers with whatever their needs are, but at the base we are commercial agricultural real estate lenders,” Field said. “That’s the one thing we do, we do it with passion for our producers and our industry and we don’t miss very often.”

Field and his team frequently encounter farmers who have “all their financial eggs in one basket.”

“If you’ve got two farms and they’re 40 miles apart, throwing those farms into the same mortgage is not beneficial to the family operation,” Field said. “Separating them gives farmers leverage on their terms rather than on the dictated terms of their lender.”

“Farmers, ranchers and agribusiness people accept special risks and face very specialized challenges,” he said. “In order to meet those challenges, they will need the most advanced credit services and presentation techniques available, and we provide the tools, ability and experience today to help them finance tomorrow’s agriculture.”

“What happens if the neighbor’s place comes up for sale?” Field said. “You need to be structured appropriately to refinance and get that place bought rather than have a prepayment penalty in your face as you’re trying to take advantage of an opportunity.”

Establishing a level of liquidity makes farmers and ranchers nimble enough to take advantage of such opportunities while successfully navigating whatever Mother Nature dishes out that year.

The Harvest Capital team is familiar with the unique challenges of the ag industry, being primarily composed of people who grew up on farms or ranches, including many past FFA officers.

The National FFA honored Harvest Capital Company with its Distinguished Service Citation at the 94th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis in October 2021.

“FFA students are part of the future of American agriculture, something the public should be aware of and be sure to support,” Field said. “Trades are what make this nation tick and agriculture and the FFA are the cream of the crop.”

FFA’s ag-based education, emphasizing leadership and personal growth skills, has produced some great Harvest Capital employees, he said.

In the coming year, Harvest Capital will be looking for a few new team members to join their ranks, and an agricultural background will be a key component in the search.

“We’re looking for people to join us,” Field said. “It’s not just a job; it is a choice to serve the industry of agriculture throughout your career.”

Harvest Capital’s leaders are excited to be the Title Sponsors of the first-ever Central Oregon Agricultural Show and look forward to meeting new producers and catching up with old friends and colleagues.

Coastal Farm & Ranch: Everything a farmer needs

Coastal Farm & Ranch: Everything a farmer needs

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Coastal Farm & Ranch added its 20th location last year in Corvallis, Ore., on the heels of a two-store expansion the year before.

“We’re just not slowing down,” Brand & Culture Coordinator Meg Walker said. “It was exciting to open stores in Monroe, Wash., and Salem, Ore., the year before.”

This year Coastal Farm and Ranch is a Major Sponsor of the brand-new Central Oregon Agricultural Show.

Coastal’s 20 locations include stores in Redmond, Roseburg, Klamath Falls and White City. Wherever they go, Coastal Farm and Ranch always looks for ways to be involved in the community, whether it be 4-H, FFA, local humane societies or other related causes or organizations.

“As a longtime sponsor of the Northwest Ag Show, we couldn’t be more excited to step into a sponsorship role at the Central Oregon Ag Show,” Walker said. “This is an excellent opportunity for agriculture in Central Oregon and we are excited to showcase a variety of products for farm and ranch life.”

The atmosphere at a Coastal Farm Store changes with the seasons, moving from lawn, garden and grills into winter flannels, cozy socks and slippers and stoves.

“People are surprised that we have such a fantastic stove department,” Walker said. “We have more than 20 working stoves of all types — wood, gas, pellet, electricity — which surprises some folks.

“A lot of people think ‘farm and ranch’ and assume we just sell cattle feed, panels and livestock managing equipment,” Walker said. “We’ve got everything from work clothes to Western fashion all the way to hunting and fishing supplies.

“We have everything that the people of Central Oregon need for ranch life and hard work, as well as all the things they need for outdoor recreation,” she said. “Central Oregon is an oasis for outdoor activities, and we are thrilled to have a fully stocked sporting goods department to supply our customers with the outdoor equipment they need.

“We have realized that many people who live the lifestyle we serve like to relax that way; hunting, fishing or camping is often what they do to unplug and recharge from their long days of work.”

In the last few years, Coastal Farm and Ranch has grown its online presence through its new e-commerce website, CoastalCountry.com. Customers can shop Coastal “Your Way,” which includes in-store, curbside and home delivery.

“We are adding new items to our website every day to truly allow our customers to shop in the way that serves them best,” Walker said. “We know life is busy and adding ‘Your Way’ allows us to continue to offer exceptional customer service to all of our customers.

“We’re just really excited to be a part of the ag show in general,” Walker said. “We are really looking forward to showing the Central Oregon attendees the wide variety Coastal has to offer.”

Perfect Balance USA: Seeking an even-handed view of agriculture

Perfect Balance USA: Seeking an even-handed view of agriculture

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Perfect Balance USA will be the beneficiary of the annual Buckaroo Breakfast at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Central Oregon Ag Show. The breakfast will continue as long as supplies last.

McDonald’s is donating the food, and between breakfast proceeds and charitable donations, the Perfect Balance USA nonprofit hopes to gain sufficient funds to continue with their plans.

Started in 2016 by Jeremy and JoHanna Symons of Madras, Perfect Balance is taking a multi-pronged approach to a complicated, dire situation related to the discovery of the endangered Oregon spotted frog along the banks of the Deschutes River, sole water supplier of the area’s farmers and ranchers.

A major effort is educating the public. The Symonses host tours of their operation to educate people about the importance of a common-sense approach to achieving balance between agriculture and government.

Guests are taken on wagon rides around the ranch’s 1,100 acres and the cattle feeding facility to give them an idea of their day — feeding and caring for the animals, growing and harvesting crops, composting manure for use as fertilizer.

“It’s a full-circle operation,” JoHanna Symons said. “The reason we’ve kept giving tours is because we’ve been 100% effective in reconnecting people with where their food comes from and what it takes to produce it. People are positively educated after a visit.

“In addition to large groups of students, we’ve had environmentalists, animal rights activists, and once a group of 48 college professors,” Symons said. “A professor from UC-Berkeley came to us in tears, saying, ‘I feel so bad because I’ve misled thousands of students over the years about the ag industry; I had no idea that small family farms were like this.’

Assuming the average person eats 60 pounds of beef a year for their protein needs, the Symonses raise enough beef to feed about 195,000 people each year.

“Everything is on this earth for a reason,” Symons said. “We need wildlife and all species, but we also must have farmers.

“At some point in your life you’ll need a doctor or an attorney, but three times a day you need a farmer,” she said.

“Keeping the balance where everything thrives is the key. The scale got tipped too far one way and the balance was catastrophically thrown off,” Symons said. “Fish & Wildlife Service got so focused on the water needs of the frog that farmers are now facing bankruptcy because their water allocation has been drastically reduced, for the use of the frog.”

A Habitat Conservation Plan, put into effect last year, requires Jefferson County farmers to release one-third of their stored irrigation water into the Deschutes River for the next seven years.

In year 8, farmers are required to release all their winter storage into the river.

Perfect Balance USA has hired a team of experts to come up with a plan to keep the species thriving but also keep farmers in business. Lake Billy Chinook is being looked at as an alternative water source for Jefferson County farmers.

Asking the Biden administration for water infrastructure money is the only way to get a pumping project of that magnitude off the ground. The downfall, Symons said, is that many farmers won’t be around to see it happen.

The nonprofit is also applying for grants to help in recovery implementation of the frog and hiring a biologist to do unbiased research on the frog.

“It’s human nature to not want to react to or tackle a challenge until it’s too late,” Symons said. “You enjoy going to the grocery store and filling your cart with food, but can you imagine going into the grocery store and finding the shelves empty?

“This will become a reality if the balance keeps getting thrown off and farmers continue to get forced out of business.”

Thompson Pump & Irrigation grows from ag roots

Thompson Pump & Irrigation grows from ag roots

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Andy High, owner of Thompson Pump & Irrigation in Bend and Madras, Ore., knows firsthand the perils of farming and ranching where water is scarce.

His grandfather, Taylor High, 97, lives on the remaining 300 acres of the Klamath Falls ranch his family settled in the 1860s, which at one point was nearly 5,000 acres.

As Andy came of age, his father and grandfather told him the water wars weren’t likely to end anytime soon and urged him to go to college.

High earned a degree in public policy and spent the next 15 years working for legislators, including state Sen. Tim Knopp and U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith.

“In 2016 I decided I didn’t necessarily want to farm full-time but to get back in and give back to that community,” High said. “Coming in with Thompson Pumps was a golden opportunity, just a really great company, strong staff and strong community ties in Bend, where my wife Jennifer grew up.”

Ranch life for the High family revolved around hard work, 4-H and socializing at the Midland Grange Hall. Vacations were 4-H Fair Week and the State Grange Convention. His grandfather is one of the oldest living Grange members in the country, with his 85-year pin.

“It’s tough; with all the social media now and so many demands on people’s time there’s not a lot of that kind of community gathering happening anymore,” High said. “…Our ag roots are very important to our family.”

Giving farmers more time is a big motivator for High, who says being able to monitor and control irrigation pivots with a phone is a step in the right direction.

“That’s where our focus is and that’s what excites me about the industry, just the technology helping people,” High said. “We’re a Valley pivot dealer and do a lot of center pivots in Central Oregon. The AgSense products we’ll have on display at the show allow you full access to what’s going on with your machine, wherever you are.”

Soil moisture monitoring provides farmers with a daily report showing where more coverage is needed. The farmer can choose where to slow down or speed up the pivot to equalize water absorption remotely.

“Our goal is to give our farmers and ranchers more time,” High said. “If I can give you another hour in the day that you can go to the football game and not have to run out to a crop, to me that’s a huge victory.

“Within the next year we’ll have a fair amount of drone technology coming to center pivots,” High said. “They’ll be able to fly over your crop daily and within two years you’ll be getting down to which plants are struggling and be able to inject fertilizer from the center point to that section and then shut it off and continue going over other sections.

“Technology in farming is coming,” he said. “There are 7 billion people to feed and a small group that’s doing it.”

Such technology will allow farmers in Jefferson County, who must order water when they need it, to track the areas that still have water at the top level and plan how to stretch what they have.

“They may be able put off ordering water for another 6-7 days which, if you compound that over a season, can mean getting a second, third or fourth cutting, in some cases,” High said.

This spring’s addition of a third Thompson Irrigation & Pump location in Powell Butte has High’s name written all over it.

“We’re rehabbing the old Powell Butte Grange,” he said. “It’s a pretty cool building.”

High Desert Stampede: Bringing the best of rodeo to Central Oregon

High Desert Stampede: Bringing the best of rodeo to Central Oregon

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Unlike most rodeos, the High Desert Stampede has been operating as a start-up since its inception in 2015.

“Typical rodeos, especially PRCA rodeos, have long traditions going back 75 or 100 years, so to be young is very unusual,” High Desert Stampede Board Member Chad Morris said. “Our board of directors is composed of business owners, not necessarily rodeo athletes or those who came up in rodeo, and so we operate a little differently.”

For one thing, the Stampede takes its lead from the National Finals Rodeo by keeping side shows and specialty acts to a minimum.

“We focus on the athletes and the animal athletes that we’re bringing to town,” Morris said. “We feature them and get them into the arena one after the other as quickly as we can so that we’re entertaining and presenting the rodeo product more than trying to fill time.”

Always at the end of March, this year’s High Desert Stampede is March 23-26 at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center’s First Interstate Bank Center in Redmond.

Though they’ve been able to draw world champions with less money, the board is taking a bit of a gamble this year by adding $10,000 in prize money to each event. Combined with entry fees, the anticipated total payout will exceed $150,000.

“Last year we opened on Wednesday night with the Wrights out of Utah, who are in the national news regularly, and they went on to win a couple of national titles, so we have top-caliber athletes and top-caliber stock,” Morris said. “Our livestock budget alone is more than $90,000 so we’re doing everything we can to bring fans the best of the best on both sides.”

Central Oregon has a longstanding bareback tradition with local talent including Bobby Mote and Steven Peebles. Austin Foss is considered the latest in that lineage.

“We know Austin Foss is planning to attend the High Desert Stampede and expect to see other NFR qualifier names when entries open,” Morris said. “Our goal is to continue delivering a fast-paced, entertaining, family-friendly rodeo, with the best athletes and livestock we can bring to Central Oregon each year.”

The Central Oregon Agricultural Show at Deschutes County Fair & Expo March 26-27 will overlap with the Stampede on Saturday, so folks will be able to visit the Ag Show on their way to the rodeo.

“We strive to recognize and give a nod to the Western way of life that established Central Oregon, and I think the Ag Show is going to help us deliver on some of the community involvement that we were not expecting to see for several more years,” Morris said.

Ed Staub & Sons Petroleum: A ‘one-stop shop’ for farmers and ranchers

Ed Staub & Sons Petroleum: A 'one-stop shop' for farmers and ranchers

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Ed Staub & Sons Petroleum is sponsoring the Early Day Gas Engine & Antique Tractor Display at the inaugural Central Oregon Agricultural Show on March 26-27.

It’s a great fit for a company that has been meeting the energy needs of its residential and commercial customers for more than 60 years.

Ed Staub is a family business that started in Northern California in 1959 with the purchase of a Chevron bulk plant in Alturas, Calif. Since that time, Ed Staub & Sons has expanded to 17 locations across Oregon, California and Idaho.

Ed Staub & Sons Petroleum Services prides itself on being a “one-stop shop” for its residential and commercial customers, supplying every type of fuel for all situations. They carry propane, heating oil and all the fuel types along with lubricants and other items such as propane appliances.

Services include bulk delivery, packaged products, inventory management and oil analysis.

“As the company has grown through acquisition and growth opportunities, we have, for the most part, been able to stay within the rural communities,” said Wendy deGroot, Ed Staub & Sons enterprise marketing director. “The company is very family-oriented and treats team members like family and builds very good relationships with customers and always gets involved in the communities where we do business.”

Near and dear causes to the company include agriculture, veterans and education.

“Providing opportunities for youth in the small towns we serve is one of our core competencies, and it is always great to partner with our local communities any way we can,” deGroot said.

Locations in rural communities, often in the middle of agriculture country, Staub & Sons has been able to partner with farmers, ranchers, and other ag-related entities, often supplying everything such an operation requires in the way of energy and related products.

“Agriculture is an important piece of our business, and we are able to serve our ag customers holistically with their fueling and lubricant needs,” deGroot said. “We try to be that value-added resource to our customers; we feel that if we’re doing our job right it should be seamless from their end.

“It’s pretty neat because over time, as our drivers are out on their residential or commercial routes, they get to know their customers and are available when someone has a question as it relates to safety or things of that nature,” she said. “We just want everybody to be safe and help give people that peace of mind — that’s what it’s all about.”

“We want to identify where there’s a need and meet it; or find out what your business goals are and figure out how to help you get there,” deGroot said. “It’s a win-win.”

McDonald’s: Sponsors breakfast to support agriculture

McDonald's: Sponsors breakfast to support agriculture

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Kathy and Paul Rodby, owners of five Central Oregon McDonald’s restaurants, are partnering with Perfect Balance USA to raise funds to bolster area agriculture.

The Buckaroo Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 26, and lasts until supplies run out. It will be at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds during the Central Oregon Agricultural Show.

The event got its start decades ago when McDonald’s instituted it as a community fundraiser. The annual event alternates beneficiaries. This year the proceeds of the event will go to Perfect Balance USA, a nonprofit organization working to educate the community on how food gets from the farm to the table, and how to collectively preserve water for our ecosystems, endangered species and farmland.

McDonald’s is donating the food and cooking it on site at the Ag Show to benefit a cause that is close to home.

“The struggles of agriculture in the last two to five years have been challenging all around the United States,” Andrea Brown, area supervisor for the five Central Oregon McDonald’s restaurants owned by the Rodbys, said. “Prices of everything are going up and I think it makes consumers very aware of the trickle-down effect it has when we lose a farmer or rancher….”

“When we have a bad year of drought and a farmer decides he doesn’t have enough water to even try to grow a crop, we lose that farmer and it has a detrimental impact on the economy,” Brown said.

Brown said the time has come for McDonald’s and all other fast-food restaurants to band together to really help promote and support ranchers and farmers across the country and world “…because we wouldn’t even exist without them.”

In 2019, the 162 McDonald’s restaurants across the state purchased 608,219,000 pounds of Oregon potatoes and 5,070,000 pounds of Oregon onions, along with many other foodstuffs and supplies.

While McDonald’s has supported agriculture for decades, it’s done so quietly and behind the scenes, but leaders of the worldwide restaurant chain feel it’s time to get more vocal about it.

“We need people to get more educated on agriculture because without agriculture any food business will not survive,” Brown said. “We’ve been quiet about our contributions until now, but given that McDonald’s has such a following, we are starting to get boisterous about it.”

Each of the five Central Oregon McDonald’s restaurants owned by the Rodbys actively seeks out ways to better the community, including supporting 4-H and FFA, buying animals at the fair auction and helping to raise funds for the programs.

It doesn’t stop there. Supporting the Ronald McDonald House, local sports teams and livestock associations are among the many ways McDonald’s supports the communities in which they do business.

In December, the Rodby Foundation partnered with Perfect Balance USA on a fundraiser that raised more than $70,000 in one night.

Midstate Power Products: Kubota tractors and more

Midstate Power Products: Kubota tractors and more

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Monica and Frank Platt, co-owners of Midstate Power Products, are no strangers to taking the show on the road.

The Kubota dealership was one of the first to sign up to sponsor the first-ever Central Oregon Agricultural Show March 26-27.

For 10 years, they have sponsored and exhibited at fairs, trade shows and other ag-related events from about February through fair season in August, setting up booths and displays of the latest Kubota machines.

“During COVID, nothing was happening; it was very weird,” Monica Platt said. “Everybody said to take advantage of the downtime because when the shows are on, we’re moving around a lot and there’s always something in the works while we’re also trying to keep the stores staffed.”

The Platts purchased his brother Gilbert’s 30-year Kubota dealership in 2011 and set about making it their own.

“We started out small, with three or four people in the whole operation, and just kept expanding from there,” Platt said. “We started taking on larger tractor lines with larger equipment that couldn’t fit in the shop doors and knew we had to move.”

The Platts found a three-acre property on Highway 97 that included a large, vacant building — a former KidZone indoor play facility.

“It was dilapidated, and we were able to purchase the land,” Platt said. “Then we found a contractor to basically recycle the majority of the cinder block building.”

The new building was finished in 2014, complete with taller roll-up shop doors.

“It had such a dynamic effect on the business,” Platt said. “Productivity went up and sales increased by 30% just from changing to a location with better visibility and access; it was absolutely amazing what a difference it made.

“We were able to bring in more product offerings, which also helped,” she said.

The following year they opened Pelican Tractor Company in Klamath Falls, followed in 2018 by Malheur Machinery in Hines.

“Kubota has evolved over the years with their tractor horsepower offerings and are not just small hobby tractors anymore,” Platt said. “They’ve gotten up into the higher horsepower-range tractors, which is what you need to work with some of those larger ag implements.

“They have also expanded their construction equipment offerings with mini excavators, skid steers, wheel loaders and quite a few other things,” Platt said. “We’ll be bringing some of that equipment to the show, including some of the high-tech laser-operated guidance machines.”

Midstate carries a few additional lines to complement the Kubota selection.

“We sell Vermeer agricultural equipment, especially their bale processors that shred the bales into pieces and lay the hay out in a long row of cattle feed,” Platt said. “Kubota also has an entire hay tool line with round balers, rakes and mower conditioners.”

The company’s Great Plains Manufacturing line includes many larger implements for larger-scale tilling, seeding and planting. They also carry Land Pride, a division of Great Plains that leans toward smaller attachments for smaller scale tractors, rototillers and the like.

Flex harrows, disk harrows and seeders are the biggest sellers from Great Plains, and Land Pride implements such as pallet forks, bale spears and grading blades are popular for all tractor sizes.

Kubota Corporation bought Great Plains Manufacturing and Land Pride two years ago, and the company now produces several Kubota products, particularly those used in the construction industry.

Clint Johnson: Brings out the best in cattle dogs

Clint Johnson: Brings out the best in cattle dogs

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

Growing up on a six-generation cattle ranch, Clint Johnson always had dogs around, but it wasn’t until later that he became aware of what ranch dogs can do.

“My mother-in-law Jeanne Warnock had some real cow dogs, border collies that I got to see work and I was very impressed and intrigued and really wanted to get a lot more serious about it,” Johnson said.

“For a long time, many ranchers were pretty anti-dog,” he said. “They’d had hired hands or neighbors that had dogs that weren’t very well trained and could be tough on livestock and weren’t much help.”

Over time, that attitude has changed, he said.

“Working dogs are becoming more prevalent in the West as ranchers are seeing what they can do,” Johnson said. “They’re slowly changing their minds about having them and becoming more willing to shell out a lot of money for them.”

By putting on working dog demonstrations at the Central Oregon Agricultural Show, Johnson hopes to convince more people of their value.

“I’ll set up a little field out there with some obstacles that I’ll put the cattle through and explain how this is useful in an everyday ranching situation,” he said. “You don’t need as much labor which, in today’s market, is extremely hard to find.

“They’re just amazing animals; one well-trained dog can replace four guys on horseback — and the dog never shows up hungover or drunk,” Johnson said. “They show up to work every day, eager to work and are happy to be yelled at.”

Warnock Ranches is operated by Johnson and his wife, Cassi; her parents, Randy and Jeanne Warnock; and siblings Jerod Warnock and Abby Warnock.

Between their locations in Eastern and Central Oregon they run pairs and retain yearlings to place in a feedlot to be sold through a natural beef co-op, Country Natural Beef, that the family helped found.

Dogs are an integral part of their daily operations, with about eight finished dogs helping run some 1,600 head of mother cows and 1,400 yearlings over large expanses of range, meadow and forest. Seven dogs are in various stages of training.

Johnson works exclusively with border collies.

“There are lots of breeds that will do a decent job, but if you Google ‘smartest dog in the world’ the border collie comes up,” Johnson said. “Besides being extremely intelligent, they’re extremely eager to please, whereas Jack Russells, for example, are very smart dogs but they’re also eager to get away with doing things you don’t want them to.”

WSR Insurance Services: Personalized crop insurance

WSR Insurance Services: Personalized crop insurance

By BRENNA WIEGAND For the Capital Press | Mar 4, 2022

WSR Insurance Services began in 1917 with the merger of three independent insurance companies.

More than a century later, WSR is still jointly owned and has become one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in Northern California, offering a full range of products that include farm and ranch insurance for crops, livestock, apiculture, personal insurance and general business needs.

They are also sponsoring the seminar program that will be offered at the brand-new Central Oregon Ag Show.

WSR is based in Woodland, Calif., with 13 agents scattered around multiple states that include several regions where ranching is the primary industry. The website is wsrins.com.

“We like to conduct our business face-to-face,” Matt Griffith, co-owner, said. “With what we do it’s important to sit down with a customer so everybody has a good understanding of what we’re doing together and enabling us to set realistic expectations of how our products can perform.”

Bobby Alexander, with a background in the livestock industry, manages WSR’s crop insurance products, specializing in the risk management tools put out through USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) that include pasture, rangeland and forage (PRF) and livestock risk protection (LRP) tools for ranchers and hay producers geared to protect their bottom line.

“Most ranchers have considerable expense in raising their cattle,” Alexander said. “LRP lets them lock in a price to insure against declining market prices.”

PRF insurance allows farmers and ranchers to insure the amount of rainfall they’re supposed to get in their area and offset costs when water is scarce.

“Everybody is looking for all they can do to manage risk and make ends meet,” Alexander said. “When you are in an inconsistent weather pattern, people can end up having to sell their herd down or make big adjustments.

“They’re also very vulnerable in a fluctuating market,” Alexander said. “If something happens globally, even if it has nothing to do with the cattle industry, it can tip their market upside down and ranchers can end up getting less out of their cattle than it costs to raise them.”

Two of WSR’s five owners, Griffith and Jim Vann, grew up in the ranching industry and understand the perils that operators face and want to make sure they know there is help available that they may not know about.

“The lines the USDA offers change quickly with new products popping up on an annual basis, and there are a couple that are being overlooked, such as whole farm revenue, which protects an operation’s income based on what commodities they have and their size,” Griffith said.

“Agriculture is unique in that the producer doesn’t set the price; we’re at the market’s mercy when it’s time to sell our commodities,” he said. “We’re trying to relay the message that there are products to help you stay in business and that’s a new mindset because up until 10 years ago crop insurance at the ranching level didn’t really exist.

“Many of our products have been of real benefit to the Central Oregon agriculture community and we are happy to spread the word by participating in the new Ag Show.”