Craig and Ashley Kohls are the fourth generation of Kohls to farm in McLeod County, Minnesota. Together, they manage a feedlot and a cow/calf operation, while also producing corn and soybeans in the town of Hutchinson.
A farm life is a busy life, especially when you’re producing both crops and livestock. There is always something that needs to be done, be it inside the house or out on the farm, which doesn’t leave very much time to go into town for meetings. This is why the Kohls are grateful that Pat, their AgCountry Farm Credit loan officer, makes the trip out to the farm to see them when there is business to accomplish. Ashley said, “We really appreciate how available Pat is and also the fact that he comes to us. When there is business to be done or papers to be signed, we’re either sitting at our kitchen table or standing out in front of the feedlot.”
Pat’s visits to the farm also enable him to get to know Craig and Ashley’s children, Avery and Bennet. Considering the intergenerational nature of the Kohls’ farm, it’s important to Ashley and Craig that their kids also have the opportunity to build a relationship with Pat. Ashley said, “Not only does Pat get to know us, he gets to know our kids, whom we’re hopeful will be the next generation on our farm and even hopeful that they may continue to work with Pat in the future.”
AgCountry Farm Credit has been crucial as Craig and Ashley have transitioned onto the farm. Craig said, “AgCountry has been very beneficial to us as we’ve started. When we did our last addition on the feedlot some of their loan structures made it feasible for us to accomplish it.”
Ashley and Craig are also a part of AgCountry’s young and beginning farmer program, which seeks to address the needs specific to young and beginning farmers, as well as bring them together for in-person meetings.
“It’s been unique for us to connect with other farmers our age across the state of Minnesota and into North Dakota. It’s fun to get together for the structured meetings that we have, and we connect with some of those folks in between meetings,” Ashley said.
The support network that this social group provides has been important for Ashley in her capacity not only as a farmer, but also as a wife and a mother. The ability to talk with others in a similar situation has proven valuable. “We’re able to talk about unique challenges that we face that some of our peers we interact with more often at home don’t experience. That’s been big benefit for us as well, working with AgCountry,” she said.