Fielding Questions is a podcast that explores a wide range of topics within the world of farm finance and rural living. Each episode features AgCountry staff who examine different issue areas.  

Do you have a question? Would you like to know more about a subject? Send us a message on Facebook (@AgCountry), tweet at us on Twitter (@AgCountry), or simply click here!

 

Episodes

Farm Bill Passes House Ag Committee
The House Agriculture Committee recently passed its version of the Farm Bill but the bill's future remains uncertain. We break it all down with AgCountry's Senior Legislative and Public Affairs Officer, Andy Martin. 

Construction Loans
Construction loans help finance building projects of all types. Jered Freudenberg joins the podcast to discuss construction loans and provide tips for those considering a building project. 

Taking Advantage of Today's Markets
Late April showers aren't a concern for farmers in the upper Midwest. Cody Didier, marketing education specialist with AgCountry, says more attention should be placed on having a marketing plan and executing that plan when an opportunity presents itself. 

Spring Market Opportunities
Field work is underway in the upper Midwest. Rob Fronning, VP insurance and customer education with AgCountry, discusses where markets sit for crop commodities and cattle while also addressing the importance of having a marketing plan. 

Buying Farmland
Several factors play into a decision whether to buy farmland or not. Keven Berdan, market vice president with AgCountry Farm Credit Services, joins the podcast to explain how interest rates and current land prices are impacting these decisions.

March 2024 WASDE Analysis
In this edition of the Fielding Questions podcast, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Marketing Education Specialist Cody Didier talks about the March USDA reports.

A Conversation with Shawn Hackett
Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors Inc., is well known for taking historical context and turning it into forecasting for the future. We speak with Shawn about a wide array of topics impacting the future of agriculture, including inflation, demographics, and geopolitical conflicts.

Rural Home Loans
There is a lot that goes into building your dream home in the country. In this episode, we explore the topic with Becky Vogel, VP home loan officer with AgCountry. Listen along to hear tips and advice for those exploring a building project. 

Actions to Capitalize on Today's Markets
AgCountry VP Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning breaks down where markets are today and the factors that are driving it. From foreign conflicts to local weather issues, markets have changed over the past year. Listen in as Rob discusses what today's markets mean for farmers and ranchers and what they can do about it. 

Continuing Education
There is a lot of information out there to help farmers and ranchers make better decision for their operations. AgCountry Chief Marketplace Officer, Troy Andreasen, discusses why farmers should continue seeking out knowledge and what educational opportunities exist at AgCountry. 

Key Financial Ratios
On this episode, we speak with Kara Wulfekuhle, AVP loan officer with AgCountry, about key financial ratios farmers and ranchers should keep in mind to help gauge the health of their operation. 

Final 2023 WASDE Report
Cody Didier, marketing education specialist, joins the program to recap the final World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from USDA.

Operating Loans
Farming and ranching is big business, and with it comes big price tags. Nicole Erickson, market vice president with AgCountry Farm Credit Services, joins the podcast to discusses operating loan financing.

Harvest 2023 & ERP Announcement
Rob Fronning, VP insurance and customer education with AgCountry, joins the podcast to talk about the latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Rob gives an update on the 2023 harvest. He also talks about the recent announcement about the Emergency Relief Program (ERP). 

The Challenges of Passing a New Farm Bill
With no Speaker of the House, legislation in Washington, D.C. has come to a standstill. AgCountry's SVP Government and Public Affairs, Howard Olson, joins the podcast to discuss what elected officials in our nation's capital are telling him and what a potential timeline for passage of a new farm bill looks like. 

Is PRF Right For You?
Pasture, Rangeland, Forage coverage offers farmers and ranchers protection against a lack of moisture. AgCountry Senior Insurance Specialist, Scott Van Den Einde, joins the program to provide the ins and outs of PRF insurance. 

South American Plant Update & Insurance Options
AgCountry's VP Insurance and Customer Education, Rob Fronning, joins the podcast to give listeners an update on planting progress in South America along with insurance options available to crop and livestock farmers. 

The Ins and Outs of Margin Protection
Margin Protection is a crop insurance option farmers have to add extra protection to their acres. Ginger Harris, VP insurance with AgCountry, discusses all the ins and outs of Margin Protection. 

Mitigating Risk with Insurance
AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning reviews insurance coverage options for producers. Fronning reminds producers that it is not too late to get hail coverage for the season and discusses how to utilize insurance coverage to mitigate rising input costs and lock in prices. Livestock Risk Protection is a tool that remains available to protect high prices for livestock.

Farm Bill Update
On this episode of Fielding Questions, Andy Martin, legislative and public affairs officer at AgCountry, joins the program to give an update on where the new farm bill stands in Washington, D.C. 

How Weather is Impacting Markets
VP Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning joins the podcast to discuss how the weather is impacting today's commodity markets. Rob also discusses important crop insurance deadlines that are upcoming. 

Rural Energy for America Program & Value-Added Producer Grants
Farmers and ranchers have options in today’s world to help finance new projects. On this episode of Fielding Questions, Colleen Landkamer, state director of USDA Rural Development in Minnesota, joins the podcast to discuss the Rural Energy for America Program and the Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Updating Your Succession Plan
Updating your succession and retirement plan to reflect today's high land and machinery prices can help ensure your plan is still viable. On this edition of Fielding Questions, we speak with Russ Tweiten, SVP Succession and Retirement Planning, about why reviews are necessary and what they could mean for the future of your farming operation. 

Spring Market Opportunities
In the Fielding Questions podcast, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Insurance and Commodity Marketing Education Rob Fronning discusses the current market environment. Fronning is encouraging farmers to take advantage of market rallies.

Late Planting
In this edition of Fielding Questions, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning discusses the late start to the planting season, seasonal market trends and the cattle market. Fielding Questions is a collaboration between AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the Red River Farm Network.

Livestock Risk Protection
Raising livestock can be a tricky business at times. In this edition of Fielding Questions, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Insurance Specialist Megan Huether discusses the Livestock Risk Protection insurance policy. Listen as Megan details what the program has to offer and why those who raise livestock should explore it. 

YBF Starting Gate
Getting your start as a young or beginning farmer can be challenging. Wyatt Wardner, AVP loan officer with AgCountry Farm Credit Services, stops by to discuss what options exist for young or beginning farmers, including AgCountry's Starting Gate program. 

March Market Update
In this episode of the Fielding Questions, AgCountry's Marketing Education Specialist Cody Didier discusses the latest crop reports. Cody breaks down what the conditions of crops of Argentina and Brazil mean for U.S. farmers and ranchers. 

SCO & ECO
As crop prices remain high, farmers and ranchers are considering ways of protecting that price. One option could be adding SCO or ECO to their multi-peril crop insurance policy. Nick Dreyer, senior insurance specialist with AgCountry, discusses how these policies work and how they could benefit farmers. 

Spring Prices
In this episode of Fielding Questions, AgCountry Vice President of Insurance and Commodity Marketing Education Rob Fronning recaps the recent USDA crop report. Rob also touches upon the volatility seen during the month of February as crop insurance spring pricing is being calculated.

Farm Bill Update
A new farm bill is being written in Washington, D.C. Howard Olson, SVP Government and Public Affairs with AgCountry, stops by to discuss where we stand in the process. Howard details where opportunities and challenges lie in getting a new bill done in 2023. 

Picking the Right MPCI Policy
Farmers & ranchers have many different options available to them when it comes to a multi-peril crop insurance policy. Keith Wilson, SVP insurance at AgCountry Farm Credit Services, discusses the importance of MPCI and what producers should look for when making their selection for the 2023 crop year. 

Preparing for the New Year
The Federal Reserve increased the benchmark interest rate by another 50 basis points. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Marketing Education Rob Fronning says young and beginning farmers have not seen anything, but near-zero interest rates, while others have been through this cycle before. As the end of the year approaches, Fronning emphasizes the importance of a marketing plan. “Volatility creates volatility and we’ll have more of it going forward,” said Fronning. 

Controlling Operating Costs
On this episode of Fielding Questions, we speak to AVP Branch Manager Jordan Croatt about the rising costs to operate a farm or ranch. We'll cover action steps farmers can take on their farm. 

Recreational Land
Whether it's hunting, fishing, riding ATVs, or just having a place of your own, purchasing recreational land comes with a different set of considerations than buying farmland. Kyle Rylander, MVP Home Loans with AgCountry, joins the program to discuss the ins and outs of financing rec land.

Monitor Basis Levels
In the latest edition of Fielding Questions, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning considers the latest market developments. There have been basis opportunities, but growers should be alert to basis levels. A rangebound market and market considerations for 2023 are also discussed.

Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Insurance
In the latest edition of the Fielding Questions podcast, Geoff Blegen, SVP Insurance with AgCountry Farm Credit Services, highlights Pasture, Rangeland, Forage insurance. "There is an opportunity to protect your investment or potentially get money back if they need to buy hay or get more pasture ground," said Blegen.

2022 Harvest Update
AgCountry Farm Credit Services VP Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning joins the podcast to give listeners an update on how harvest is moving. Rob also discusses transportation and crop insurance options.

Farm Safety
The Progressive Agriculture Foundation and AgCountry Farm Credit Services are dedicated to farm safety. Hear more in the latest Fielding Questions podcast episode from Progressive Agriculture Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Kuhl about the work they do and the importance of farm safety.

Margin Protection
Farmers have many options when it comes to picking the right crop insurance policies for their operation. On this episode of Fielding Questions, we'll learn more about Margin Protection from Vice President of Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning. Can Margin Protection help you? Find out by listening along!

S&R: Staying on Track
In this episode of the Fielding Questions podcast, Russ Tweiten, senior vice president of succession and retirement planning with AgCountry Farm Credit Services, emphasizes the need to stay on track with the succession and retirement plan. "The key is to have a written plan for every component of the farm." Accountability is critically important. "What we like to do initially is to have a separate meeting with the parents and a separate meeting with the successors to make sure a shared vision is there."

Crop Update
In the latest Fielding Questions episode, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Market Education Specialist Katie Tangen talks markets, crop conditions, and takes a closer look at the August USDA report findings.

First Time Borrower
Taking out your first farm loan can be intimidating. AgCountry Farm Credit Services VP Loan Officer Jack Buckley has a few tips for first-time borrowers in the latest Fielding Questions episode.

Political Update
AgCountry SVP of Government and Public Affairs Howard Olson outlines the current political environment. In addition, Olson previews a Midwest Ag Council event and an executive-level conference about the next five years in agriculture.

Markets & Planting Wrap Up
AgCountry Farm Credit Services Market Education Specialist Katie Tangen talks about the grain markets and the wrap-up of spring planting. Hear more about it in the latest Fielding Questions podcast episode, presented by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Emergency Relief Program
Another round of disaster relief payments are coming to Northern Plains crop farmers with crop losses due to drought in 2020 and 2021. AgCountry Farm Credit Services VP Insurance and Customer Education Rob Fronning has more details about the USDA’s new Emergency Relief Program.

Prevented Planting
The cold, wet weather is delaying spring planting in the Northern Plains. Prevent plant is one decision farmers will need to make in the next few weeks. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Crop Insurance Supervisor Nick Dreyer says this prevent plant year is different from others. Strong commodity prices and global demand incentivize getting a crop planted, if possible, this spring. That means several Northern Plains farmers may end up planting past the final planting date. Hear more in the latest Fielding Questions podcast episode, presented by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Succession Planning 101
With the average age of farmers & ranchers ticking up, farm transitions will soon be taking place. Bobbi Sondreal, consultant-succession and retirement planning with AgCountry, drops by the podcast to discuss the basics of succession planning.

2022 Spring Weather Preview
Farmers will soon begin planting their 2022 crops. With each new crop year comes questions about what growing conditions will look like. We will preview what the near-term weather has in store for the upper Midwest as Paul Trambley, chief meteorologist with Weatherology, joins the program.

USDA Prospective Planting Report
In this episode of the Fielding Questions podcast, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Market Education Specialist Katie Tangen previews the USDA Prospective Plantings Report and considers market strategies during a very volatile time.

Knowing Your Numbers
Costs are rising for farmers and ranchers - be it inputs or land. A key to success is having a good grip on your operation's numbers. Market Vice President Ron Haugen joins us to discuss the importance of knowing your numbers and how it leads to success.

Acreage Decisions
AgCountry Farm Credit Services Marketing Education Specialist Katie Tangen says there's been a lot of back-and-forth in the commodity markets. Farmers are keeping those prices in mind, along with input costs, as they make acreage decisions for 2022. Hear more in the latest Field Questions podcast.

Supply Chain Disruptions
How do supply chain disruptions change the approach for farmers as they go into spring? AgCountry Farm Credit Services Market Education Specialist Katie Tangen answers that question, and more, in the latest Fielding Questions episode. This podcast, produced in collaboration between AgCountry FCS and the Red River Farm Network, explores the world of farm finance and rural life.

Credit Risk Chain
The credit risk chain is a concept used by lenders to assess financial risk. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Branch Manager at Lisbon, North Dakota Park Wiltse cover this topic and more in the latest Fielding Questions episode. This podcast, produced in collaboration between AgCountry FCS and the Red River Farm Network, explores the world of farm finance and rural life.

AgDirect
Farmers and ranchers have many different options when it comes to financing equipment. On this episode, we're learning about one of those options from Tate Moser, territory manager for AgDirect.

Young & Beginning Farmers
Young and beginning farmers are an important segment within agriculture. Although there are challenges to getting started, resources exist to help young and beginning farmers get off the ground. AVP Loan Officer Sarah Schaffer stops by to discuss what resources can be used along with tips for keeping a good relationship with your lender.

Appraisals
If you're looking to purchase land or build your dream home, odds are good you'll go through the appraisal process. AgCountry's Chief Appraiser, Tim Kreft, joins the podcast to talk about what goes into an appraisal, what appraisers are looking for and how can sellers add value to their property.

Leasing
Leasing has many benefits - like providing a flexible way to control cash flow while preserving capital. Amy Weum of Farm Credit Leasing joins the podcast to discuss what can and cannot be leased and why a farmer or rancher should consider a lease the next time they're in the market for equipment or facilities. 

Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP)
Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) is an insurance option that is designed to insure against unexpected declines in the quarterly revenue from milk sales relative to a guaranteed coverage level. AVP Loan Officer Dennis Bangart joins the podcast to talk about DRP and what it could mean for farmers.

Should I Buy Farmland?
One question farmers and ranchers can struggle with at times revolves around purchasing additional farmland. Multiple factors should be considered before moving forward with such a large purchase. Ross Hebrink, VP loan officer, helps walk us through the lending process for purchasing additional land.

Hail Insurance 
Although farmers may have plans, nature can get in the way. Luckily, farmers can hedge against the natural risks to their revenue. On this episode of Fielding Questions, we learn about hail insurance. Listen along as Insurance Specialist/Coordinator Beth Erickson and VP Loan Officer Jeff Schaefer break it all down.