Written By: Leah Chester-Davis, Miles Hamrick, and Roger Davidson
Donna Streich and husband Quinten dreamed of owning enough land to start a small cow-calf herd in the eastern part of Iredell County. When a parcel of land came on the market that adjoined the property where their house was located they jumped at the chance to purchase it.
They visited their bank and were surprised to be turned down for a loan. They made visits to two other banks. No, they were told.
“It had nothing to do with our credit,” says Donna. It turns out none of the three banks would provide a loan for any property that had a house trailer on it.
“We didn’t want the trailer either. The land was important to us. My husband said, let’s try Farm Credit.”
When the Streichs met with Roger Davidson in the Statesville office they felt they were finally heard. “He came out and looked at the property and agreed it was a nice parcel of land. They gave us six months to get the trailer off after we signed the papers; we had it off within a month,” says Donna.
That was nearly three years ago, and this past year they had a chance to purchase another parcel of land. “The first thing we did was pick up the phone and call Roger. There wasn’t any hesitancy. We didn’t think of going anywhere else. It just runs so smoothly with Roger.”
Not only is Donna thrilled with the Carolina Farm Credit experience, she loves her new property.
“The first parcel of land is connected right on with ours. And then the second parcel is connected on to the back so it just fit. It’s so beautiful!”
They’ve started a small herd of Charolais and Angus cattle. “We’ve always had our feet in agriculture somehow.” Donna recalls growing up in Minnesota and her Dad having a dairy and then a feeder calf operation. Quinten grew up in a small farming town in Minnesota and worked on cattle, hog and grain farms. He also raised cattle and hauled livestock for many years across the United States. Before relocating to North Carolina they had a few horses and cattle.
“Roger told us about the cash dividend program when we got our loan but I didn’t think much of it,” says Donna. “I was kinda thinking yeah, yeah.” She admits she really thought it was some type of gimmick and didn’t really give it a second thought.
And then the surprise arrived.
The Streichs were unable to make it to the annual meeting where Carolina Farm Credit hands out cash dividend checks. When Roger delivered the check to their farm, Donna says she was shocked when she opened it. “Wow! A couple of hundred dollars is nice!” She couldn’t wait to share it with her husband and he was equally pleasantly surprised.
Knowing that they’ve added another loan they expect the check to be even bigger this year. They’re looking forward to April. Even more, they enjoy each day. “It’s so beautiful to stand at your kitchen window and look out at the cattle. It’s so peaceful.” The cash dividend check is icing on the cake.
This is part 3 of a 3-part series on the cash dividend program. In part 1, loan officers Roger Davidson and Miles Hamrick explain the program. In part 2, long-time member Randy Cook, of Cleveland County, shares his experiences with Carolina Farm Credit and the cash dividend program.