San Saba, Texas
While a farmer may plant a pecan tree this year, it could take three to four years for that tree to begin producing fruit.
“San Saba styles itself as the pecan capital of the universe,” said Harold Yates, a pecan farmer, cattle grazer and sheriff’s deputy in San Saba, Texas.
With an interest in learning more about pecan farming, Harold moved to San Saba. Fortuitously, he met Pam, who came from a family of pecan farmers and they married. Pam’s father taught Harold how to harvest pecans and now they also have a custom hay bailing operation and a wildlife business.
A Perfect Partner
For Harold, Central Texas Farm Credit is the “perfect partner to finance Yates Pecans.” Unlike other types of businesses, agricultural operations can take a great deal of time to produce enough profit to be able to fully pay back their loans. While a farmer may plant a pecan tree this year, it could take three to four years for that tree to begin producing fruit and, even then, it may not produce enough in one year to generate the profit necessary to repay debts. Farm Credit employees, many of them farmers themselves, understand the long-term nature of agriculture financing and Harold appreciates this.
At Central Texas Farm Credit, Harold said, “they understand that when I make an investment such as putting in an irrigation well, digging irrigation lines, buying young trees, or preparing the ground that it’s going to take me six or seven years for a profit to come back.”
After years spent on the farm, Harold lives by an old Comanche saying “we don’t own the land, the land owns us.”