Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania
Clair Esbenshade farms with his two sons, Todd and Kyle in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania.
Transitioning the farm from one generation to the next can challenge families. Thankfully, Horizon Farm Credit was there to help the Esbenshades plan for the future.
Joining the family farm
Originally, the Esbenshades raised turkeys and beef cattle, as well as cash crops. However, as Clair’s sons, Todd and Kyle grew up and wanted to join the family business, the farm has evolved to adapt to their interests and strengths.
Todd decided he wanted to join the family business first and worked with his loan officer at Horizon Farm Credit to make a plan. Through many conversations and hours of thoughtful planning, Todd decided that he wanted to put up a hog barn with the help of an Horizon loan.
Watching Todd’s success, Kyle decided that he also wanted to join the family business. Following a similar path, Kyle met with the family’s Horizon loan officer to make it happen. “She was able to get me the money to buy in and become a partner in the family farm,” Kyle said.
Horizon provided crucial support
Transitioning a farm to the next generation is no easy task. It involves flexibility on the part of all parties and creative thinking that allows each person’s strengths to be utilized to their fullest. And Horizon stood beside the Esbenshades throughout the process. “Our loan officer was a valuable resource. We worked with her her to brainstorm different ideas when we were trying to transition the farm,” Todd said.
For Clair, it was also important that Horizon had a deep understanding of what they were trying to do with their farm business. “It's been a good decision, working with Horizon,” Clair said. They know agriculture and they know our operation.”
While some may struggle to get the attention of the lender at the times it matters most, the Esbenshades have relied on Horizon when times get challenging. “I like to tell people my loan officer comes to see me. I don't go to see them,” Clair said.
Beyond corn futures and hog prices, the farm is a legacy, a place rich with memory. “It's not a commodity to me,” Clair said. “It's a heritage to pass on to them so that they can take care of it.”
Clair wanted to pass along the tools that his sons would need to be successful and to him, passing along the farm accomplishes that goal. “I feel good about providing an opportunity for our family to have a place to provide for their families,” he said. “If they take care of the farm, it will take care of them.