Lansing, New York
“Farm Credit is like a chain link–they all work together to get the job done, allowing me to focus on the management of my farm business.” -Jeff Cook.
Jeffrey and Dorinda Cook operate Cook Farms, a 270-cow Holstein dairy farm in Lansing, New York. Jeff is the second generation on the farm his father purchased in the 1950s, formerly known as Cooklee Farm. Today, Cook Farms operates on more than 800 acres, growing corn, alfalfa, canary grass and some rye. Jeff grows all his own bedding and grain corn, too.
Looking to grow
Jeff first turned to Farm Credit East to complete his taxes, as that is who his father had always worked with. When he needed additional funds to purchase his father’s assets to grow the business, he found many banks were resistant to lend to farms.“ Farm Credit East was more open to working with me. Unlike other banks that are bought or traded, Farm Credit East provides stability and has always been there for my business,” he said.
Today, Cook Farms not only has a lending relationship with Farm Credit East, but also uses business services, including monthly records, payroll and taxes.
“I’m a much better farmer than I am a bookkeeper,” joked Jeff. “I have enough to worry about managing the farm and don’t need the added stress of making sure my records are done right.”
Like a chain link
“Farm Credit East offers convenience,” he continued. “My records specialist completes my records monthly and sends them directly to my loan officer and the tax department, so the whole team is in the know.”
Jeff says the long-term relationships he’s formed with the employees of Farm Credit have been equally, if not more beneficial to his business. “I know who to call if I have an issue or question and I don’t need to bring them up to speed on my situation,” said Jeff. “They easily help and are knowledgeable, flexible and timely to work with. The relationship lets me do more farming. The team at Farm Credit East is like a chain link–they all work together to get the job done, allowing me to focus on the management of my farm business."