The Osterhoudt family owns and operates a crop and custom harvest operation in Cayuga County, NY. In addition to growing 2,000 acres of corn and hay to sell to dairies for forage, they also provide planting and harvesting services for other farms. Through these custom services, they harvest 4,000 acres of corn and an additional couple thousand acres of hay.
The family farm began in 1957 as a dairy. After selling the cows in the late 80s, the family raised beef cattle for a short time before transitioning to a crop and custom harvest operation. Today, the farm is operated by its second-generation, Mark Osterhoudt, and Mark’s mother Elinor continues to help with the farm’s bookkeeping.
They were first introduced to Farm Credit more than 30 years ago, and today have a full team assisting their business — including lending, records, payroll, tax and consulting staff. “Working with a full team that knows what’s going on in the business simplifies things. We don’t have to explain everything, every time, only when it’s something new,” said Mark.
“When we come up with a plan, they can offer informed suggestions, since they all understand our operation,” continued Mark. “They can also work back and forth in-house when they have questions and don’t have to reach out to me for everything.”
Osterhoudt Farms utilizes Farm Credit East’s tax planning service throughout the year. “It helps us stay current all year,” said Mark. “By tax planning early we’re able to see what’s going to happen at year-end and make adjustments if we need to.”
Mark said the greatest benefit to working with Farm Credit East has been the diversity and outside perspective that staff brings to his business.“ As producers, we sometimes get caught up in our industry. We think everybody in our industry does everything the same way, and that’s what’s great about Farm Credit East. They work with so many people in other industries — whether it is forestry, or fruits and vegetables, or fishing — who have different ideas. From that diverse experience, staff can come to me with different concepts from how I might approach things. It’s a huge help.”