Training for Farm Credit Employees

Get the training you need to help your customers and advance your career.

Whether you're new to the Farm Credit System or a seasoned employee, Farm Credit University has a solution to help you succeed.

Orientation Courses

Ag 101: Industry Snapshots

Target Audience: New hires and all employees

Training Type: Online

Description: The Ag 101 Series is designed for any employee who is looking for an overview of the basics of agriculture, and the industries and commodities that Farm Credit finances. The series includes the basics of Dairy, Equine, Grains, Mushrooms, Nurseries and Greenhouses, Pork and Beef Production, Poultry, Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming, Tobacco, Tree Fruit Production, and Vegetables and Melons.

Objective: Gain awareness of basic industry information, terminology, equipment, and business practices for various commodities.

Register

Launch Pad

Target Audience: New employees

Training Type: Online

Description: This on-demand orientation covers Farm Credit’s history and strategy as a cooperative, the players in the ag lending marketplace and the types of borrowers Farm Credit serves. Launch Pad also provides training about customer service, business ethics and communicating the Farm Credit story to a variety of audiences.

Training modules can be completed at your own pace. Launch Pad is offered on-demand, allowing you to enroll any time.

Three versions are available: Core - only eLearning content; Lite – content and tests; or Full - content, tests, and application exercises.

Objectives:

  • Understand the Farm Credit System’s formation, history, purpose and future.
  • Be aware of the financial products and services available by customer segment.
  • Learn to deliver a positive customer experience in an ethical manner.
  • Be able to tell the Farm Credit story.
  • Examine trends in agricultural debt financing and the players in the ag lending marketplace.
  • Understand eligibility and scope of lending for Farm Credit.
  • Comprehend global and domestic economic and industry trends impacting agriculture and ag lending.

Online Modules:

  1. The Farm Credit System and Cooperatives
  2. Customer Segmentation, Products, and Culture
  3. Telling the Farm Credit Story
  4. The Landscape of Ag Finance: A Competitive Assessment
  5. Mega Trends of Agriculture and Ag Lending

Three versions are available:

  • Core - only eLearning content
  • Lite - content and tests
  • Full - content, tests, and application exercises

Register for Launch Pad Lite

Register for Launch Pad Full


Credit Academy Courses

Commercial Ag Lender

Target Audience: Lenders with one to five years of experience, who are working on larger, commercial ag accounts.

Training Type: Blended

Instructors:

  • Dr. David Kohl
  • Ronnie Hucks
  • Charlie Farrell

Commercial Ag Lender focuses on all facets of differential credit analysis for commercial agricultural loans. Presented in the same format as the Lifestyle Lender Course featuring Dr. David Kohl as subject matter expert, the content for this curriculum has been reviewed and approved by experienced ag lenders and academics who served on the Farm Financial Standards Council. Training is presented in 10 easily digestible OnDemand modules that include self-paced, interactive online presentations by Dr. David Kohl, objective test application exercises and access to mentors and peers via discussion forum. The curriculum includes two live webinars and a final face-to-face session and is offered in the spring and fall each year.

Objectives:

  • Learn how to construct and analyze basic financial statements for an agricultural business to evaluate risk and creditworthiness.
  • Explore issues related to expansion of businesses.
  • Learn to properly structure different types of loans for ag businesses.
  • Successfully identify distressed credits and learn processes to work with them.
  • Write an effective loan narrative, negotiate terms of a loan, and do so while maintaining integrity.
  • Learn to consolidate balance sheets of various business entities for analysis.

Register Course Dates & Schedule

Lifestyle Lender

Target Audience: New to intermediate lenders who will be making loans of $500,000 or less, and/or loans with non-farm income as a primary repayment source.

Training Type: Blended

Instructors:

  • Dr. David Kohl
  • Dr. Alex White
  • Ronnie Hucks
  • Elizabeth Benefield
  • Dr. Iwana Ridgill

Description: The Lifestyle Lender Course focuses on customer and financial product knowledge, portfolio segmentation, sales and marketing, tax return analysis, small loan analysis and much more. This eight-month training is presented in 10 online modules that include self-paced, interactive presentations by Dr. David Kohl, a live kickoff webinar, “halftime session” and a comprehensive final project.

Two weeks are allocated for each module and a halftime face-to-face training session will be held in Charlotte, NC. Offered spring and fall of each year.

Objectives:

  • Learn basic, foundational principles needed as a new agricultural lender.
  • Understand the difference between eligibility and scope of lending, and eligibility requirements for different groups of borrowers.
  • Learn characteristics of the lifestyle segment of borrowers, and details on analyzing loans to these borrowers.
  • Evaluate tax returns to find valuable information and ask informed questions.
  • Discover the basics of a sales call and prospecting for new business.

Online Modules:

  1. Lending to Lifestyle Borrowers: Eligibility, Scope of Lending, and Customer Knowledge
  2. Lifestyle Portfolio Segmentation and Layering of Risk
  3. Small Loan Analysis & Credit Evaluation
  4. Tax Return Analysis
  5. Legal Topics
  6. Technology, Alliances in Marketing & Loan Pricing  
  7. Sales & Marketing: Consultative Marketing
  8. Sales & Marketing: Strategic Prospecting
  9. Sales & Marketing: Call Preparation
  10. Sales & Marketing: Sales Call Process

Register Course Dates & Schedule

Agribusiness Lending Workshop

Target Audience: Lenders, account officers, and credit analysts who focus on larger agribusiness credits, typically $5 million and above or with complex borrowing entities.

Training Type: Instructor-led

Description: This one-and-a-half day program provides an opportunity for lenders and analysts to hone their skills on lending to agribusinesses and complex entities. The program features presenters from both inside and outside of Farm Credit, and utilizes case studies and group exercises to help reinforce discussion topics.

Objectives:

  • Learn about issues affecting agribusiness loans on a global, national, and regional scale.
  • Understand common analysis tools for identifying risk and determining creditworthiness of agribusinesses.
  • Understand legal issues that affect these types of loans.

Topics:

  1. Agribusiness credit trends and issues
  2. Complex credit analysis topics
  3. Legal considerations with complex credits
  4. Risk identification and mitigation case studies
  5. Discussion and Q&A time with Association experts
  6. Action Steps & Best Practices

Register

Credit Analyst Workshop: Basic

Target Audience: Commercial ag lenders and credit analysts with at least six months of credit analysis experience.

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructors:

  • Ronnie Hucks
  • Dr. David Kohl
  • Harlan Hill

Description: This three-day class focuses on basic credit analysis techniques relating to commercial agricultural and small agri-business lending. This is very much a “numbers crunching” workshop, and features AgFirst, Association, and outside presenters. Employees that have credit analysis duties as a major part of their job responsibilities will benefit most from this hands-on class. The session is held annually in September.

Topics:

  • Economic update and lending risk case studies (Dr. David Kohl)
  • Basics of balance sheet consolidation
  • Basics of cash-to-accrual income conversion
  • Business tax return analysis
  • An introduction to cash flow and business risk analysis (Harlan Hill)
  • Comprehensive case studies (processing and marketing facility)
  • Lending risk “roundtable” discussion (pre-session work required)
  • Non-financial credit factors
  • Other topics and group exercises

Register

Credit Analysis: Fundamental

Target Audience: Credit Analysts, Reviewers and Loan Officers

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Harlan Hill, Hill Financial Education, Inc.

Description: Utilizing two days of instruction, the session exposes participants to a rigorous course of study designed to improve an attendee’s credit risk identification and credit decision skills, consistent with Farm Credit lending principles. The program is designed to serve as a prequel to the more advanced Credit Analysis: Intermediate training. The session will establish fundamental principles encompassing the behavior, beliefs, philosophy, organization and policies as it pertains to fundamental credit risk management and embraces the most important fundamentals in credit risk and financial analysis training.

Topics:

  • Credit Risk: General Overview
  • Business Risk Analysis
  • Income Statement Analysis
  • Balance Sheet Analysis
  • Working Capital Analysis
  • Seasonal, Medium and Long Term Exposure in Credit Risk Analysis
  • Secured Borrowing Base Underwriting
  • Covenants
  • Collateral & Guarantor Evaluation

Register

Credit Analysis: Intermediate

Target Audience: Credit Analysts, Reviewers and Loan Officers

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Harlan Hill, Hill Financial Education, Inc

Description: This session is designed specifically for Farm Credit, and delivers important credit risk management training in credit analytics, loan structuring and cash flow analysis. This course of study is designed for those possessing a fundamental credit background consisting of a minimum of 2 years of on the job credit experience as Credit Analysts, Reviewers, and Loan Officers with underwriting responsibilities, and who have completed Credit Analysis: Fundamentals training.

Objectives: Participants will:

  • Understand the qualitative factors that can influence a borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Grasp the art of “getting behind the numbers” in financial data point analysis, derived from accrual accounting based financial presentations.
  • Gain an ability to understand how changes in liquidity, leverage, profitability, cash flow and asset management can impact credit risk management via a “DuPont” type analysis.
  • Link ratio and cash flow analysis to management decisions regarding business events.
  • Appreciate important loan structuring issues for credits more than $5 million in exposure.
  • Learn to streamline “club” and/or “syndication” deal underwriting and appreciate the need for revised structures allowing a deal to be placed in the bank debt market.

Topics:

  • Credit Risk: Overview of Industry, Business and Management Analysis
  • Accrual Based Accounting: Cash Flow Analysis
  • Credit Risk and Loan Structuring: General Principles
  • Covenants and Intermediate Loan Structure: Specific Complex Principles
  • Capital Structure
  • Participation and Syndication Issues 

Register

Credit Analysis & Corporate Finance: Advanced

Target Audience: Credit Analysts, Reviewers and Loan Officers

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Harlan Hill, Hill Financial Education, Inc.

Description: This newly-designed program provides Farm Credit experienced senior professionals with an overview of the key elements of corporate finance disciplines experienced in the world of corporate finance and capital markets. This training is targeted to capital market officers, chief credit lending officers, and other agribusiness leaders.

Objectives:

  • Understand the basics of time value of money and how these concepts underlie corporate finance principles.
  • Gain a general knowledge of different corporate finance and capital markets instruments available to participants in the capital markets, including mezzanine finance, private equity and senior bank debt.
  • Grasp the dynamics of the purchase and sale of a business.

Topics:

  • Business Valuation Techniques
  • Capital Structure
  • Capital Markets Products
  • Transfer of Ownership 

Register

Distressed Loan Workshop
Target Audience: Lenders, account officers, and credit analysts with 1-5 years of experience or who have not worked during an agricultural or economic downturn.


Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructors: 

  • Ronnie Hucks
  • Dr. David Kohl
  • Van McCall

Description: This one-and-a-half day program provides an opportunity for lenders to learn and share best practices related to the recognition, servicing, and workout of distressed loans. The program features presenters from both inside and outside of Farm Credit, and utilizes case studies and group exercises to help reinforce discussion topics. Offered once per year in the winter.

Objectives:

  • Learn early signs of a distressed credit from the experience of others.
  • Apply a process to dealing with distressed loans.
  • Learn proper servicing strategies to prevent distressed loans and address problems.
  • Be exposed to the legal issues surrounding distressed credits.
  • Understand interpersonal communications related to distressed situations.

Topics:

  • Early recognition of problems
  • Case studies facilitated by Dr. Dave Kohl and Van McCall
  • Servicing & Turnaround Strategies
  • Borrowers’ Rights & Bankruptcy Panel (a practical approach
  • Discussion and Q&A time with Association experts
  • Action Steps & Best Practices

Register

Mastering Sales Magnetism

Target Audience: Lenders who want to improve Sales Skills

Training Type: Blended

Instructor: Will Turner, Seeding Growth 

Description: The world is changing at a staggering pace — is your sales approach and process keeping up? Learn how to go beyond consultative selling and become a true sales magnet with this energizing program. Emphasis is on setting goals, working smarter instead of harder, time management, marketing to the right prospects, building and enhancing relationships with borrowers, and developing your expertise as a lender. Includes 10 OnDemand modules, two face-to-face training sessions in Charlotte, NC and monthly teleconferences. Offered in the spring and fall of each year.

Objectives:

  • Set SMARTY goals for yourself and learn a process to attain them.
  • Identify a bull’s eye market to focus on for new business development.
  • Develop a detailed prospecting plan and learn which approaches to prospecting fit best for you
  • Apply the testing for fit process in sales calls with prospects.
  • Develop a plan for maintaining and building relationships with existing customer.

Online Modules:

  1. Introduction to Sales Magnetism
  2. Mastering Goal Achievement
  3. Developing a Prospecting System
  4. Bull’s Eye Marketing
  5. Creating a Killer Positioning Statement
  6. Warming Up Calls
  7. Mastering Networking
  8. Advanced Prospecting Methods
  9. Testing for Fit
  10. Maintaining and Building Relationships

Register Course Dates & Schedule


Leadership Academy Courses

The 5 Choices

Target Audience: All levels

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Karen Weinkle, Supervisor Training at AgFirst Farm Credit Bank

Description: This one-day workshop combines timeless principles with current neuroscience research to help better manage decisions, attention and energy to consistently make choices that give the greatest return on time. Supported by science and years of experience in time management, this solution not only produces a measurable increase in daily productivity, but also provides a renewed sense of engagement and accomplishment. This workshop will help you make five fundamental choices that will dramatically increase your ability to focus on your most important outcomes. In this session, you’ll learn how to reclaim attention, time and energy. You’ll also discover how to balance your most important roles and goals, and learn how to fully utilize Outlook as a productivity tool.

Objectives:

Participants will 

  • Learn ways to increase the productivity of individuals, teams, and the organization.
  • Understand how to make more selective, high-impact choices about where to invest valuable attention, energy, and time.
  • Earn up to 7 CEU credits (issued by FranklinCovey).

Register

Professional Writing Skills

Target Audience: All levels of leadership

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr. Nancy Tuten, Get-it-Write!

Description: This one-day program focused on improving professional writing skills. During this highly interactive program, participants will learn key points and practice their writing skills.

Objectives:

Participants will identify “best practices” for email that ensure readability, such as:

  • Creating appropriate and helpful subject lines.
  • Formatting emails in such a way that they are readable in any browser.
  • Breaking information into logical, readable paragraphs.
  • Understand online readers’ habits in order to write documents that maximize online readability.
  • Ensure an appropriate tone in emails, letters, and other documents.
  • Organize information into logical and coherent paragraphs in documents such as emails and issue papers.

Register

Writing Fundamentals: Logic, Clarity and Grammar

Target Audience: All levels

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr Nancy Tuten, Get-it-Write!

Description: This one-day program focusing on ensuring writing is clear, logical and grammatically correct by avoiding some of the most common errors, ambiguity and making sure your words convey precisely the message you intend to convey.

Topics:  

  • Pronoun Confusion
  • Agreement Issues
  • Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers and Other Illogical Constructions
  • Word Confusion

Register

Writing Fundamentals: Punctuation and Mechanics

Target Audience: All levels

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr Nancy Tuten, Get-it-Write!

Description: This one-day program focuses on addressing the most troubling marks of punctuation and mechanics, including the appropriate use of the comma in a wide variety of sentence constructions.

Objectives:

  • Have an increased understanding about clauses and phrases and recognize how to use that new knowledge to punctuate appropriately with commas, semicolons, colons, and periods.
  • Learn how to punctuate and capitalize with parentheses and quotation marks.
  • Discover multiple ways to handle a vertical list appropriately.
  • Learn to distinguish among the em dash, the en dash, the hyphen, and ellipses.
  • Learn the difference between italicizing and placing material in quotation marks.
  • Learn how to use apostrophes correctly, especially when words are plural.

Register

Professional Presentation Skills

Target Audience: Individual contributors and front-line supervisors

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Christie James, Midlands Technical College

Description: This one-and-a-half day program is designed to help employees learn how to speak confidently to groups. Provides simple, easy to use, and fear-fighting techniques for presenting yourself with greater effectiveness. Maximum class size is eight.

Objectives: 

  • Analyze their audience to meet their needs and achieve your goals.
  • Plan and organize their presentation to be clear and convincing.
  • Use audio visual aids to enhance their main points.
  • Overcome fear and anxiety.
  • Deliver their message to engage the audience and inspire commitment.

Register

Negotiation Strategies and Techniques

Target Audience: Loan Officers, Managers and others in a position requiring strong negotiation skills

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr Bruce Money, University of South Carolina, Executive Education

Description: This two-day program teaches participants how to successfully manage the negotiation framework. Negotiation by nature is experiential. The course includes case discussions and simulations, as well as a negotiator’s profile instrument and giving participants individualized feedback. Whether dealing with external demanding customers or internal company dynamics, successful negotiating is more than pulling tricks out of a bag. Although certain tactics are more effective than others, negotiations are a framework of bargainer characteristics (listening ability) and situational factors (power differences) combining to influence the negotiation process (persuasion), which produces a certain outcome (profits, future deals). Advantage goes to the negotiator who understands how to balance all of these dynamics.

Objectives: 

  • Develop the awareness that “negotiation is all around you.”
  • Learn how to use the five bases of power in negotiation.
  • Recognize the difference between zero-sum and relationship-based negotiating and when to use each.
  • Practice increasing the size of the outcome “pie.” 

Register

Crucial Conversations

Target Audience: Front-line supervisors, managers, team leaders, relationship managers and project managers.

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: John Regentin, Senior Consultant FCC Services

Description: This two-day highly interactive program teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional or risky topics – at all levels of your organization. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment. These conversations – when handled poorly or ignored – lead to strained relationships and dismal results.

Objectives: 

  • Speak persuasively, not abrasively.
  • Foster teamwork and better decision making.
  • Build acceptance rather than resistance.
  • Resolve individual and group disagreements.

Register

Essentials of Leadership (Leadership Level One)

Target Audience: Front-line or new supervisors and team leaders

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dale McKee of Clear Seeing Leadership

Description: This five-day program, held in two separate sessions, is designed to provide participants with the critical skills, insights and action planning needed to effectively lead, guide and influence important organizational initiatives. 

Objectives: 

  • Understand what leadership is and what effective leaders do.
  • Understand the Legal Aspect of Leading
  •  Know the difference between managing and leading.
  • Know how to Communicate and Listen Effectively.
  • Learn behavioral Interaction Styles.
  •  Know the characteristics of effective leaders.
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback.
  • Learn how to influence, motivate and have powerful conversations.
  • Learn how to effectively manage change in the organization.
  • Learn how to keep people motivated, yet expect more from them.
  • Learn how to develop talent in the organization and coach for high performance.

Register

Leading with Impact (Leadership Level Two)

Target Audience: Mid-level supervisors and managers, project managers and relationship managers.

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr Linda Salane and Dale McKee

Description; This intense three-day program providing leadership tools and techniques to enable supervisors and managers to maximize leadership capabilities. The program provides managers the tools to influence others, think strategically and utilize collaboration for gaining business results. Participation in a 360 assessment and webinar are required as pre-work to the program. The 360 assessment will include input from direct reports, peers, superiors and self. Competencies measured in the 360 include Business Acumen, Communication, Project Management, People Management and Coaching. Senior coaches will be available during and after the program to provide individual 360 results and assistance with a Professional Individual Development Plan.

Participants will:

  • Learn success methods for moving from managing to leading.
  • Become recognized as an Influence of Results.
  • Understand their unique leadership competency strengths and development needs.
  • Create a powerful professional development plan.

Register

Advanced Leadership Program (Leadership Level Three)

Target Audience: High potential leaders of multiple teams or major functional areas

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Dr Tim Koch, Julian Dalzell and other senior level experts from University of South Carolina Executive Education.

Description: This intense two-week leadership program is designed to prepare the next generation of Senior Leaders to inspire others while making important decisions. Catapult your leadership capabilities with strategic thinking, innovation and business acumen. This executive leadership program is custom designed in conjunction with the Executive Education department at the Darla Moore School of Business. Individual executive coaching will be provided between week one and week two. Includes two executive coaching sessions. This high-level program includes two days of micro and macro banking and Farm Credit challenges with Tim Koch, Professor of Finance at the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business and President of the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado. Pre-work includes the reading of several Harvard Case Studies and the book “Community Banking: From Crisis to Prosperity.” Other highlights of the program with nationally recognized faculty and facilitators include Leadership Strategies and Assessment, Executive Presence and Communication, Strategic Thinking and Innovation and Managing Change.

Topics covered include:

  • The Banking Environment on a Macro and Micro Level
  • Farm Credit Challenges and Opportunities
  • Leadership Strategies and Assessment
  • Executive Presence and Communication
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Coaching Innovation
  • Organizational Alignment
  • Managing Change

Register

 

Executive Presentation Skills

Target Audience: Middle and Senior Leadership, Relationship Managers and Loan Officers

Training Type: Instructor-led

Instructor: Karen Kalutz, the Buckley School of Public Speaking

Description: This intense one-and-a-half day program focuses on speaking with clarity and wit, conquering bad habits and playing to your strengths to become an effective speaker. This program has been customized for Farm Credit Leaders. Participants will complete pre-work prior to the start of the program.

Objective:

  • Intensive public speaking and presentation skills training with on-your-feet work, immediate feedback, and personal coaching.
  • Exercises that address impromptu speaking, formal speeches, and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Practice handling tough questions and staying on point when presenting to Boards, President's Committee and Executives.

Register

 

Get the Farm Credit Advantage

Matt became a sales magnet

After completing the Mastering Sales Magnetism Program and going through quarterly sales training for the past four years, Matt exceeded his annual sales goal by 157% on average.

Become a Sales Magnet

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