Leading with your strengths is great career advice. Philip Clark is not only a consummate financial professional at Agri-Access, he also has firsthand experience in how lending solutions impact ag banking customers and their ability to thrive and grow.
With a bachelor of science in agriculture and food business management from the University of Minnesota, followed by a stellar decade as a Credit Officer at Agri-Access, Phil was more recently elevated to Manager of Credit. As his team works every day with community banks analyzing customized loan solutions for their agricultural customers, his deep background in ag finance and farming complements everything he does.
Phil grew up in south central Minnesota in a farrow-to-finish hog farm, where his parents also grew corn and soybeans. He participated in 4-H and FFA. His wife, also with an ag background, grew up on her family’s dairy farm. To this day, the couple is still farming, working 2,400 acres of land. Life finds him, personally and professionally, deeply rooted in ag.
When he works with community banks through Agri-Access, relating to their ag customers comes easily to Phil. He gets it. He understands what’s at stake and how they win.
Knowing how producers thrive
Knowing ag operations is helpful in analyzing a producer’s loan application. That tractor model listed on a borrower’s loan application? “I know exactly what it is, what it’s worth to them and why they need it,” he says.
With his collective experience on the field and in ag financing, he brings an intrinsic knowledge of what farmers, ranchers and growers need to build and keep a thriving operation. Producers often work in commodities, he says. Unlike other types of business, neighboring operations are often producing identical uniform products, like corn, beef or apples.
That means success in agriculture boils down to an equation of inputs, production and market prices, with a goal of achieving the highest possible margin for the operation. Because climate and market prices are out of their control, producers are always on the lookout for solutions to nudge that margin upward.
Providing impactful solutions every day
That’s where Phil, through his work at Agri-Access, offers impactful solutions to the producers borrowing from community bank partners. As a secondary market lender, Agri-Access helps community banks expand their loan offerings. As Phil knows, as a professional and in real life, fixed-rate loans with longer terms can make a big impact on a producer’s bottom line.
“We can help community banks offer every product their customer may want from a loan perspective,” Phil says. That’s where he makes an impact, finding these solutions that help producers thrive.