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Meet the Region’s Ag Experts

They know your agriculture business like it’s their own. Let’s meet the loan officers at Border Bank, who are more than just loan officers; they’re partners in creating success for their ag customers.

Jordan Creviston

VP, Ag Officer
Greenbush, MN
[email protected]

Niki Groshong

VP, Branch Manager
Clearbrook, MN
[email protected]

Brent Olson

VP, Business Officer
Baudette, MN
[email protected]

Tim Loven

Roseau, MN
[email protected]

Brian Bertilrud

VP, Ag/Business Officer
Thief River Falls, MN
[email protected]

Ulrik Aasko

Ag Officer
Roseau, MN
[email protected]

Joe Ulwelling

Chief Lending Officer
Roseau, MN
[email protected]

Josh Smith

Middle River, MN
[email protected]

Tony McLean

Thief River Falls, MN
[email protected]

Derek Olson

Baudette, MN
[email protected]

What aspects of Ag Lending do you find most enjoyable?

Jordan: I find getting to know my customers and their stories the most enjoyable. You come in each day; and it is always a new challenge or project to start and dive into. The continued growth of knowledge in the industry is quite intriguing.

Niki: Most farms are operated by family; it’s most enjoyable seeing families work hard together and get a good return for their efforts.

Brent: Hands down, it’s working with the people. Ag producers are of the highest character; they are honest, hardworking, but they like to play as hard as they work! Most of all, farmers are eternal optimists and nearly always look at things from a ‘glass half full’ perspective. I appreciate the positivity they bring to every situation.

Joe: Working with producers is very rewarding. They tend to be people that think of others; they are critical to our food supply. Their success is our food security.

Derek: The thing I enjoy the most is working with the individual people to help them strategically and effectively navigate their operation’s financial situations.

Which commodity or livestock is your favorite?

Tim: Wheat continues to be a favorite crop, always works well in crop rotations. Also, the view of a golden wheat field at harvest has always been a favorite view for me.

Brian: Corn, it’s an amazing crop as far as how fast it grows and the upside yield potential it gives to farmers. Josh: I enjoy combining ryegrass because it gives my children the opportunity to join me in the driver’s seat and have them take the reins and directly contribute, which creates memories for them on the farm much like when I was their age.

Joe: Small grains – Wheat and Oats. I can recall memories as a kid in a stubble field watching or helping my grandfather and father with harvest.

Tony: I enjoy the grain side of farming the most. I worked in High School and College on a grain farm, and harvest was always my favorite time of the year.

Do you have any livestock or crops?

Niki: I have four horses that are now just pets. At one time my husband and I had the idea to raise paints and we were up to 26 horses/foals – and we forked hay over the fence for them all winter!

Brent: Along with my dad and brother-in-law, we help my father-in-law on his farm in Northern Minnesota. We farm 1,000 acres a season, rotating between soybeans, wheat, corn, sunflowers, etc. Being able to work with those guys and make good memories is time well spent and time I treasure. The hands on farming gives me great information and perspective as an Ag lender.

Ulrik: I grow 130 acres of crop and have 80 acres of CRP. While it isn’t considered much in farming today, it helps me stay up-to-date with farm programs, changes to Ag policy, etc

How does Border Bank best serve the Ag Community?

Jordan: Border Bank offers flexibility with financing options, including leasing and traditional products. The Annual Ag Conference we host helps inform customers about new trends and market conditions.

Niki: I think we serve them best just because we live where they are – where their crops are growing, and where their animals are raised.

Brent: Border Bank is blessed in the Ag industry as several of our own employees, board members, and shareholders are Ag producers. This perspective, knowledge and understanding affords us the ability to better work with our Ag customers through the good times and the bad. Whether it’s setting up a 5-year capital/equipment purchase plan, adjusting the annual Line of Credit due to increased input costs, sweeping out a bin or eating dinner on a tail gate – we get it, and we’re right there with you.

Tim: Our Ag Team has seasoned Ag lenders that have solutions to all agricultural operational lending needs. Border Bank’s Ag Team consists of lenders, some who farm themselves, have years of Ag lending experience and care greatly about the operations of each Ag producer we work with.

Brian: In my opinion, Border best serves our Ag community by offering quick answers even on very complex credits. We have many options as far as financing is concerned which allows us to be flexible with our producers.

Josh: We live, work, and in many cases have grown up around agriculture, so it helps give us the background and focused perspective on the financing and support it takes to help our producers and their operations succeed.

Ulrik: We strive to serve our local community, so we have a vested interest in seeing our customers succeed. We provide traditional financing but also work closely with FSA and other loan providers to best meet the borrower’s needs.

Joe: Farming requires significant capital. Costs for land, equipment and operating have all seen significant increases in recent years. Border Bank has grown to a size, and continues to grow, so that it may facilitate the financing needs of today’s farmer.

Tony: We are large enough to serve the needs of all farm sizes, with lenders who have backgrounds in Ag that helps understand the farmers’ needs.

Derek: We best serve the Ag community by working with all types of producers. We help everyone, from the first time farmers getting started and established, to the very large, experienced operations which have been established and around for multiple generations. Border is open and willing to help throughout the entire life of an Ag operation.

Do you have any childhood farm memories?

Niki: As a kid we used to put up square bales every summer! I have two brothers and it was a whole family deal – my mom and dad and us three kids. Sometimes I drove the old John Deere A and tried so hard to “not pop” the clutch so the bales and my mom who was stacking on the wagon wouldn’t go flying! Other times, I was on food service which consisted of fried egg sandwiches wrapped in wax paper and mason jars filled with water.

Josh: While we were growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time around the farm where my dad worked so there are a lot of fond memories and lessons we learned that helped us get to where we are today. We learned from the ground up, starting with mowing the farmyard, picking rocks by hand, and hauling them with a three wheeler and trailer, walking the canola fields and spraying weeds by hand and loading scrap metal one cultivator shovel at a time.

Joe: My grandfather raised beef cattle. Every spring he would calve them out. I have memories helping him clean the barns, pull calves, and give shots. One time in particular, my grandpa took me to the pasture to get a calf that was born early. While he drove his farm truck, I sat on the tailgate waiting for his instructions. When he located the calf, he instructed me to jump from the moving vehicle and wrestle this 200 pound calf to the ground. I did exactly that and hoped and prayed my Gpa would be fast enough to fend off the calf’s mother. That was the day I learned why my Gpa always had an old broken goalie stick in the back of his farm truck. He smacked that cow right in the nose with the stick to keep her off of me.

Derek: I have a specific memory of throwing bales in a hot field one summer and the Pepsi truck stopped on the highway and a guy ran us out a 12 pack of Pepsi. We were all very thankful for the refreshing drinks.

Farmers are loyal to brands of equipment; do you have a favorite?

Jordan: I personally do not have a preference but find it interesting that with customers it rarely changes; they are very brand loyal and have been for a long time.

Tim: I grew up with Massey Ferguson and Allis Chambers, they were very dependable and fun to drive. These I would select as my favorites; I still drive a few of them today.

Joe: My Gpa and dad always had green (John Deere) equipment. For no other reason, I tend to favor that color as well.

Do you anticipate any major changes to the family farm in the next 10 years?

Tim: Transferring family farm operations to the next generations will continue to be a very important estate planning item. Working with family members and their trusted professional advisors (tax, legal & lending) will need to be an on-going planning effort

Brian: I think in the next 10 years we will start to see more autonomous farm equipment in the fields. I also think, with the positive outlook in farming, we will see more younger people either coming back to the family farms or not leaving after high school or college.

Tony: There continues to be consolidation on the family farm with farms getting larger, but the opportunity for the next generation to stay on the farm is there with today’s Ag environment and a good financial plan.

What are the biggest risks or challenges farmers face today?

Brian: Labor- finding experienced help who want to put in long hours on the farm is the biggest challenge I see to growing operations. I would also say the cost of land and acquiring additional acres to growing their farms.

Josh: Agriculture has become much more globally connected than in the past. There are plenty of other factors that have made the Ag economy and commodity prices much more volatile in recent years as well. Trying to navigate that volatility (on top of the weather) has made it challenging to consistently sell your crops and livestock at premium prices.

Ulrik: Globalization continues to have a larger impact on the way we farm. As global demand changes over time, we have to be able and willing to analyze the demand for our products and change accordingly. Price fluctuations in inputs and commodities can cause hardship for many borrowers without proper planning, which makes it challenging to always make the right decisions on the farm.

What are the biggest opportunities farmers have today?

Jordan: One of the biggest opportunities is adopting new technologies and viewing what they have to offer. Today’s technology allows us to do so much more. Price of it is up, but the rewards and cost savings are also great. Marketing applications are available to help assist selling grain and livestock. There are so many different tools we need to try and see what best fits your operation.

Brent: The greatest opportunities will come to those Ag producers who have the strongest financial support and backing. Whether it’s effectively contracting/ marketing product, being able to pre-buy inputs, moving quickly on quality equipment or land purchases – financial flexibility is critical to a farmer’s profitability. Having a trusted financial partner opens the door to the best deals on inputs, land, equipment, etc., and/or being able to hold product and not be forced to sell. Financial flexibility and working with a trusted financial partner are critical to producers’ success both now and into the future

Ulrik: There will continue to be opportunities in agriculture as long as consumers need food on the table. A continued push for Sustainability will see farmers as being part of that solution

Tony: Today’s farmers have resources to do a better job marketing their product, and technology continues to improve the farmer’s ability to consistently grow high yielding crops and help reduce input expenses.

Derek: I think there is an opportunity to dial into efficiencies in farming, for example, how much specific fertilizer to use on each individual piece of land. Or possibly using new, less traditional methods to raise livestock that results in a better overall product and efficient use of the land.

What is a fun fact about you that people might not know?

Jordan: I have made it to state boys basketball both as a player and also a coach.

Niki: When I was a kid, we had a pig that I named Leftover. I named him this because, that’s what we would feed him – potato peelings, etc. Well, I was devastated when he went into our freezer. When my parents were wrapping meat packages, it was my job to write on the outside of the packages the type of cut it was – well, on every single package I wrote Leftovers and drew a flower! My dad was not pleased.

Brent: served in the United States Air Force for nine years – four years at the United States Air Force Academy and five years of active-duty service, where held the rank of Captain. My greatest fear in leaving the military was not being able to serve alongside the quality and character of people I had grown accustomed to in the Air Force; however, being able to work with farmers I can happily say I still enjoy working with the same selfless and high character individuals that I had to pleasure of serving with in the military

Tim: My wife, Amy and I keep a boat slip at Spring Steel. We greatly enjoy getting out on the water any chance we can

Brian: After getting my finance degree from BSU, I went back to school for commercial aviation. Thad only just begun solo flying and getting my feet wet when 911 happened. With so much uncertainty with the airlines at that time, jobs looked very bleak, so I decided to discontinue pursuing my flying career.

Josh: I’m a lifelong Vikings fan and I’m telling you; this is the year! Super Bowl or bust!

Ulrik: I was born in Scandinavia I live in Roseau, MN with my wife and two kids.

Joe: The farm own was owned by my Gpa; I bought the farm from the same gentleman that my Gpa sold to. It just so happened my Gpa sold it on the exact day! was born. I know the meaning of ‘once in a lifetime

Tony: I was an adjunct marketing instructor for Northland College for over 20 years

Derek: Growing up I used to help my grandpa milk cows and butcher chickens on his small farm If your ag business could benefit from lenders who understand your business like it’s their own, reach out today to explore what ag banking at Border Bank can do for you.

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