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Benji Marconi and Brandon Brewer of Farm Credit Midsouth were two of 32 agricultural lenders who attended the University of Missouri Agricultural Lending School held June 3-7 in Columbia. Marconi and Brewer are loan officers in the Marion and Corning branches, respectively.

Founded in 2000, the Agricultural Lending School has successfully trained more than 250 ag lenders from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The goal of the intensive five-day program is to aid participants—namely early career ag lenders—in analyzing agricultural credit and helping clients build profitable businesses.

The curriculum, taught by nationally recognized experts, focuses on practical applications critical to an agricultural lending operation, particularly those necessary to make good agricultural loans.

For the first three days, students were under the instruction of Purdue University’s Dr. Freddie Barnard, who led training in analyzing real-life farm financial statements. During the last two days, various lending professionals and university faculty shared their expertise and experience on selected topics.

As an association with the nationwide Farm Credit system, Farm Credit Midsouth is an agricultural cooperative that works alongside other Farm Credit associations to meet the financial needs of rural America. Located in the seventh Farm Credit district, Farm Credit Midsouth services a 13-county region in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri, with branches in Jonesboro, Paragould, Corning, Marion, Wynne, Osceola and Barton.

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