When UMB opened its doors in Kansas City 100 years ago as a local store-front bank, the city was mostly agricultural and many of the company’s first loans were to agribusinesses‡. Today, UMB serves more than 1,000 clients in this industry. Stafford County Flour Mill‡, for example, has been a long-time UMB agriculture customer.
We recently launched a division that will be solely devoted to agribusiness lending to serve customers footprint-wide. This expansion will cover all areas of agriculture, from producers and processors to suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and goods.
I am proud to lead this new division with an expert team that has more than 200 years of combined ag lending experience. Some of our customers include ag machinery manufacturing companies, like Harper Industries‡, and ag machinery and equipment wholesalers, like Sydenstricker Implement Company‡. Our experience with a diverse customer base gives our new division the knowledge and expertise to support every type of agribusiness-related organization.
UMB has built a reputation on relationships for the last 100 years. An example of how we partner with our customers is when we worked closely with our farmers and grain merchandisers in 2008 to forecast their potential borrowing needs for the year. By doing this we increased our loan commitment levels before the market prices increased. This type of customer-based, proactive relationship has helped our customers reduce risk and, in turn, helped them meet the needs of their customers while still expanding their business in an ever changing economy
We understand that the agribusiness field is filled with factors that are outside of human control, like unpredictable weather or fluctuating grain prices. We’re here to help our agribusiness partners manage one of the areas of this industry they can control—their finances—in order to grow their business now and into the future.
Bank deposit products provided by UMB Bank n.a., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender
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Mr. Watson serves as president of the UMB Agribusiness Division. He joined UMB in August of 2005 and has also served as the president of the UMB Kansas region. Watson is a graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana with a major in Psychology. He has also attended The Colorado School of Banking, The National Commercial Lending School (where he has also been an instructor), and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
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