New Castle, Pennsylvania
Loren and Darren Elder are the sixth generation of Elders farming in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
They’ve taken over management of the family business and will continue the Elder legacy until the next generation comes along.
The Elder brothers grew up on their grandparents’ farm nearby. They have fond memories of spending summers there, learning the trade from the generations that came before. In 2001, Loren and Darren began managing the family business, taking over a legacy dating back to 1860. Today, Loren and Darren raise corn, soybeans, wheat and beef cattle, in addition to owning an agricultural fence business.
Expanding the property
Two years after Loren and Darren began managing the family farm, they decided to expand their acreage. In 2003, they bought an adjoining farm and, six months later, one of the farms that they had been renting came up for sale. That was a lot to undertake in a short time.
Before they could do that, Loren and Darren needed to secure financial support from a lender. Their first stop was the local bank. Loren and Darren shared their excitement about and plans for expanding the farm and growing the family business with the bank representative. Unfortunately, the bank was hesitant to loan money on vacant property.
Next, the Elder brothers took their ideas and enthusiasm to Horizon Farm Credit where the loan officers understood their business and were ready to help. Fifteen years later, Loren and Darren still enjoy working with Horizon.
“It's been a real positive experience, a great relationship,” Loren said. “As farmers, we have to deal with volatile weather and volatile markets, and we certainly don't need a volatile lender.” The Elder brothers have had the same loan officer since they became customers at Horizon Farm Credit back in the early 2000s, a constant for which they’re grateful.
The future of the business
Thinking ahead, Loren and Darren are excited about the next generation of Elders who will take over the family business.
“We're looking forward to the changes that await us, and I'm sure Horizon will be there with us along the way,” Loren said.