This is the fourth and final blog in our Credit Crunch in Farm Country series. To start from the beginning, go to Part One – The Lay Of The Land.

The Outlook for 2020

Credit Crunch in Farm Country - The Outlook for 2020As a credit expert, Leroy Startz has one piece of advice he offers over all others: When it comes to getting financing lined up, the earlier the better.

To experts like him that means that the earlier you get financed the more likely you are to take advantage of opportunities that can positively affect the bottom line—like input discounts and possibly better deals on land rent if paid early.

“Generally speaking, those discounts are only provided to farmers pre-planting season,” Startz stresses. “If a farmer can get seed, chemicals, etc. and pay for them in advance, the distributor is likely going to give them a discount. That’s something you’d want to take advantage of.”

From general input discounts to measurable efficiencies, it’s clear how using an innovative lender like ARM could help an operator get ahead of the game:

“Perhaps landowners would be willing to give operators a little bit of a discount if I can deliver it earlier than what was expected or scheduled. If we can help the producer line up the capital he needs for the 2020 crop year well in advance, that allows them to take advantage of those discounts, and that’s huge. It might be the difference between making a margin and not making a margin. “

Do those recommendations translate into hard advice? Leroy Startz says yes:

“That’s the best advice I could give. Don’t wait to finance, and then give away those discounts. But of course, to get them, you have to get the capital lined up. You need to factor in the crop insurance into the equation as well. ARM can help you maximize the crop loan amount by having the right crop insurance coverage.”

The credit crunch in farm country is real, and it’s not going anywhere. The shifts Leroy Startz discussed are only going to continue to be the trend. From land ownership to capital control, all aspects are continuously evolving. However, lending models are catching up, and there are more solutions than ever to fund an operation. Now more than ever it’s apparent that farmers need innovators like Ag Resource Management to help them fill these gaps. It’s also apparent that those who do, will see real advantages in 2020 and beyond.

Credit Crunch in Farm Country

This is the third of four blogs in our Credit Crunch in Farm Country series. To start from the beginning, go to Part One – The Lay Of The Land.

Modern Ag Lending Solutions For Modern Ag Challenges

Credit Crunch In Farm Country - Modern Ag Lending Solutions For Modern Ag ChallengesLeroy Startz has no shortage of solutions for this credit crunch. He offers several traditional options that often work for farmers despite their limitations.

“Farm Credit is a resource that some are turning to, but they too, traditionally rely on land and equipment ownership as equity for those crop loans.”

Most farmers are more than acquainted with these traditional options. That’s why his largest concern lies in the fact that many operators don’t know that innovative, alternative options even exist for today’s grower. Finding purpose in this lending gap is a huge part of why he joined Ag Resource Management, an alternative, crop-based lender that understands the challenges of today’s operators.

“There’s a huge opportunity for a company like ARM to bring to light these alternative lending options that are more cash flow oriented using the future value of the growing crop without relying on equipment or land equity. That’s going to be huge going into 2020, especially after what we’ve experienced in 2019,” Startz says.

Is Alternative Agricultural Finance Cheaper Than Equity-Based Lending?

He’s aware that exploring alternative options can come with alternative risk. This begs the question—Does alternative agricultural finance come with a higher cost? Or is it possible that the use of alternative finance solutions may be cheaper than equity-based lending or other sources to free up capital?

According to Leroy Startz, it all depends on what you consider a true cost.

“With alternative lenders that are not hard asset backed, cash-flow lending has always been a little more expensive than hard asset lending’ he explained. “However, it’s not going to be any different in the alternative solutions that you’ll find in crop financing.”

This is why he fully supports alternative lenders like Ag Resource Management.

“We bring 100% financing to the budget of a farming operation so whatever the expenses are to operate my farm in 2020, assuming the farmer has actual production history available etc. and there’s a price and a crop insurance policy that justifies the budget to keep the farm productive. ARM is going to provide 100% financing. We don’t require equity in your land. We aren’t requiring liens on your equipment. It basically needs to be viewed as a combined debt and equity capital structure that enables the farmer to do what they do.”

In conclusion, when you look at the cost of alternative financing, you really have to look at what it would require and how much it would cost to go out and raise some equity to use as collateral to finance my operation. When you look at it on that basis, the weighted cost of capital, it’s actually not as expensive as it might first appear. As Startz says: “These loans are generally not outstanding for more than a year and the fact that you’re getting 100% financing is pretty compelling, especially when you don’t have to offer up a lien on land or equipment.”

Read more in the fourth and final part of our series: The Outlook For 2020.

Credit Crunch in Farm Country

October 28th 2019 – Englewood, CO

Ag Resource Management (ARM) recently held its Annual Summit for 2019 in Englewood, Colo. at the Inverness Hilton Hotel & Conference Center. Executive Chairman Brad Terral, President of Insurance and Field Operations Billy Moore, and President of Lending Mark Branch all made energizing opening remarks to set the tone for three days of intense learning and discussion. This was ARM’s opportunity to have all of its Market Leaders and Principal Insurance Agents in one place to unveil what’s ahead for the coming season. It was a winter wonderland in October for the team!

ARM has seen tremendous growth over the past year adding 12 new markets across the United States, bringing ARM up to 31 storefronts in 18 states. The company’s strategies and culture have evolved just the same, and the team is excited for what 2020 has to bring. Agriculture’s need for alternative financing solutions is greater than ever, a specialty ARM has mastered for years now. It’s time to put 2019 behind us, and get in focus for next year.

For more information about Ag Resource Management and what we do, please take a moment to explore our site. To get in touch with a Market Leader or Principal Agent nearest to you, visit our locations page. Whether you’re a farmer, banker, or ag retailer, we’d love to be your next capital partner.

Let’s grow.

November 7th 2019 – Fort Worth, TX


Ag Resource Management is excited to announce the addition of two Principal Insurance Agents to the team, expanding its footprint in the Crop Insurance sector.


Brian Long will serve as a Principal Insurance Agent in Crop Insurance for ARM’s Northeast Region. Long grew up on a corn and soybean farm in Central Illinois and attended Illinois College where he graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s in History. He has been in the crop insurance industry since 2005, during which the majority of his time was spent as a crop insurance agent covering Western Illinois and Eastern Missouri. Most recently Long left the AIP space as Regional Marketing Manager covering the Northeast Region from Illinois and Wisconsin  and on out to Pennsylvania.  Through part of his tenure as a crop insurance agent, Long was also a grain merchandiser and grain market advisor with a Series 3 and 30.  Long’s family operates an active grain farm in Central Illinois, which drives his strong desire to help farmers manage their risk. He and his family currently reside just outside of Franklin.



Billy Fanning will serve as a Principal Insurance Agent in Crop Insurance for ARM’s Northern Region. Fanning comes to ARM with over 20 years of crop insurance experience as a market leader and producing agent. He has worked with growers across the Midwest and Southeast, most recently writing crop insurance in the Carolinas and Virginia.  Growing up on, as well as farming full time, Billy knows and understands the risk farmers face today.  In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.  He is an avid horseman and cattleman showing and raising cutting horses.


To learn more about how Brian or Billy can help optimize your operation’s risk management strategy, please contact them directly or at our offices in Springfield, Ill. and Saint Joseph, Mo. [Brian Long: (217) 318-3767,] [Billy Fanning: (816) 558-6182,]


On Thursday July 25, 2019 Ag Resource Management celebrated their ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Bad Axe Chamber of Commerce at 805 S Van Dyke, Bad Axe, Mich. 48413. There were many in attendance including chamber members, the Mayor of Bad Axe, law enforcement officers, WLEW Radio, Huron Daily Tribune, and residents of the Bad Axe community.

Left to Right: Kathleen Particka (Bad Axe Mayor), Pam Roestel (Customer Experience Specialist), Jill Miller (Market Leader), Scott Rueff (Northeast Regional Manager), Kelsey Brown (Chamber President and Marketing Specialist-Thumb Region at Team One Credit Union), Brett Mosher (Chamber Vice President and Law Enforcement Officer at the Huron Area Technical Center and Police Officer for Bad Axe Police Department and the Huron County Sheriff’s Department)

The addition of Bad Axe now doubles ARM’s presence in the state of Michigan. Jill Miller was hired as Market Leader back in January of 2019. She was born and raised in Huron County and attended school in Bad Axe and Kinde. She later attended Saginaw Valley State University graduating with a degree in Finance and Business Management in December of 2001. Miller has spent her entire career in the Bad Axe, Mich. community doing banking and agricultural lending. Miller’s involvement in the local community has consisted of Michigan Motosport Ministries, Bad Axe FFA parent advisory board, and many others. Miller comes from a farming background and lives on her husband’s grandparents’ farm. Miller has been married to Jeff for nearly 18 years and they have two children, Haley and Jack.

Working alongside Miller is Pam Roestel who was hired as the location’s Customer Experience Specialist. Roestel has spent the past 20 years in customer service as the head teller and new accounts lead for a local financial institution. She’s involved with the Bad Axe Chamber of Commerce, has served as the deputy clerk for her township for the past 28 years and runs their elections. Roestel is an active member of her church, choir, and a member of a women’s group serving in various offices. She is married to her husband Kevin of 35 years and they have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Pam Roestel (Customer Experience Specialist) and Jill Miller (Market Leader)


About ARM

Ag Resource Management is a specialty finance company bringing financial and risk management solutions to farmers and agribusinesses that serve farmers.


On Wednesday July 24, 2019 Ag Resource Management celebrated its ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at 3020 W. 57th  Street, Sioux Falls, S.D. There were several esteemed guests in attendance including members of the Sioux Falls community, chamber members, leaders in the ag industry and channel partners. It was a great networking event for all as work continues in preparation for the 2020 loan season.













Gerald Kruger joined ARM with over 30 years in banking, holding numerous positions throughout his career. Kruger grew up on a family farm in Sibley and has a deep connection to the farming community. He strives to provide alternative solutions to farmers during these challenging economic environments. Kruger is married to his wife Michelle and have four children.

There are two other team members working alongside Kruger in the Sioux Falls office. Paul Fritz was hired in October as this location’s Credit Analyst. Fritz is from Tea, S.D. located just minutes south of Sioux Falls. He attended South Dakota State University and graduated with a degree in economics in May of 2018. Lisa Zens was hired in May of 2019 as their customer Customer Experience Specialist. Over the past 10 years she has held various executive leadership positions in the Aberdeen and Redfield areas of South Dakota. Zens has also worked closely with small and large concentrated animal feed operations, helping the livestock and agriculture industries grow in Spink county and throughout South Dakota. She and her husband’s family farm in Spink, Faulk and Hand counties. They have a passion for the ag industry and promoting the value family farms bring to the greater economy of the state.


About ARM

Ag Resource Management is a specialty finance company bringing financial and risk management solutions to farmers and agribusinesses that serve farmers.


Bellefontaine, Ohio, May 10, 2019 — Ag Resource Management teams up with United Way and Second Harvest Food Bank in Ohio community.


The United Way of Logan County observed May 10th as its Community Care Day, through which over 300 volunteers representing 41 workplaces came together to work on 37 service projects in their local communities. Some of ARM’s own jumped in to lend a helping hand through United Way at Second Harvest Food Bank, whose program assists individuals over 60 years of age who meet certain income guidelines by providing them an assortment of grocery items. The packages include canned meat, vegetables, fruit, fruit juices, potatoes, hot and cold cereals, and more. Elizabeth Long and Susan Downing packed over 80 boxes and delivered them to four different communities around Logan County.


Pictured: ARM’s Susan Downing (Customer Experience Specialist) and Elizabeth Long (Market Leader).

The United Way of Logan County is a volunteer driven organization that exists to support the social service and welfare needs of its community.  Their responsibilities encompass several critical areas: raising revenue for allocation to non-profit agencies, oversight of spending, monitoring how the funded services impact the community, information services, volunteer development and community building. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit or call 937-592-2886.

ARM’s Elizabeth Long (Market Leader) and Susan Downing (Customer Experience Specialist) pack boxes of food at Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ag Resource Management (ARM) is excited to announce the opening of its Fargo, N.D. location with Don Leapaldt as Market Leader.

Leapaldt brings nearly 25 years of experience in agricultural lending as well as a several years in marketing and technology. Most recently, he served as Vice President with CoBank working with cooperative agribusinesses and assisting with their lending needs. Prior to that he held roles with several banks throughout the Red River Valley and West Central Minnesota. Leapaldt graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration. Leapaldt and his wife Ella have two grown daughters, Hanna and Taylor. They reside outside of Fergus Falls, Minn. 

Call Don at 701-540-6922 or email him at to learn more.

About ARM

Ag Resource Management (ARM) is a specialty finance company focused on bringing financial and risk management solutions to farmers and agribusinesses that serve farmers. By combining proprietary technology and a deep understanding of crop agriculture, ARM brings efficient capital resources to American farmers. Our lending is based on the crop, crop insurance, and government payments. The ARM team knows the ag business space and is focused on farmer crop funding solutions.


March 20, 2019 – Bellefontaine, Ohio

Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth Long (ARM Market Leader), a student volunteer, Evelyn (Our Daily Bread Coordinator), and Susan Downing (ARM Customer Experience Specialist).

At Ag Resource Management we take great pride in agriculture’s mission to feed and clothe the world. Recently, some of ARM’s very own took that mission a step further in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Our Daily Bread is a free meal program that serves a meal every Monday through Friday to all who enter. They run completely on donations and with the help of volunteers. “I learned about Our Daily Bread, while attending the Human Service Day put together with the Logan County Leadership committee I am participating in for nine months” says ARM Market Leader Elizabeth Long. “After hearing that February through April are the hardest time for them since they run on donations, it pulled at my heart strings to want to do more.”

Long has a strong connection with Jackson Livestock, a local livestock sale barn in DeGraff, Ohio. The owners, in conjunction with ARM, helped to purchase a dairy cow that was brought into the sale barn, and hauled it to local butcher Caven Meats. This old dairy cow that had served its farm well and for this effort yielded approximately 360 pounds of ground beef. That amount of beef is estimated to get Our Daily Bread through an entire year of meals.

For more information contact Our Daily Bread at 937.592.6325. Volunteers are always needed to help serve and clean up.

Ag Resource Management is pleased to announce the hire of Leroy Startz as Director of Market Channel Development.


Startz has an extensive background in both agriculture and finance and will be a great addition to our team as ARM continues to expand its presence across the United States.  His work experience includes numerous roles with Bank of America, Republic Bank of Dallas, Nations Bank, Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole, John Deere, Wells Fargo and ING Capital.  He has also operated his own agricultural consulting and financial advisory business.  In his most recent role, he served as a director with ING’s Food & Agribusiness Lending Group.

He was raised on a grain, cotton and cattle operation on the coastal prairies of Texas between Houston and Corpus Christi. Startz attended Texas A&M University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with honors, and emphasis on Agronomy, Agricultural Economics, and Agribusiness.  He has also attended several executive MBA education programs at Harvard University focused on agribusiness management.  Startz has served for 12 years on the board of directors for the Agricultural Retailers Association, and as chairman of its annual conference and expo planning committee for ten years.  He is also an active member of the College of Agriculture Development Council at Texas A&M University.

Startz will be based out of ARM’s Fort Worth headquarters and traveling extensively to help build relationships at a high level with various sales channels.  He will assist in developing and executing marketing strategies with ag retailers and distributors, banks, grower groups and ag cooperatives.


About ARM

Ag Resource Management (ARM) is a specialty finance company focused on bringing financial and risk management solutions to farmers and agribusinesses that serve farmers. By combining proprietary technology and a deep understanding of crop agriculture, ARM brings efficient capital resources to American farmers. Our lending is based on the crop, crop insurance, and government payments. The ARM team knows the ag business space and is focused on farmer crop funding solutions.