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Producing Excellence

Dick Davidson

Columbus, OH

Davidson Farms

Products Raised or Grown: Corn, soybeans and cattle

Size of Operation: 5,000 acres

In Business Since: 1969

Farm Credit Partner: AgriBank and Farm Credit Mid-America

Working with Farm Credit Since: 1969

Dick Davidson has spent his lifetime in farming, first with his father, then on his own since 1969, and with his son for the past 10 years. “I knew I wanted to farm from day one,” he says. “I even went to Ohio State to get my degree in ag economics.” His farming operation, which his father started in the 1940s with just 40 acres, has expanded to its current 5,000 acres and now supports grain, a cow/calf herd and a beef cattle operation.

His experience and his education have served him well in his own operation, and also in the leadership roles he’s held within Farm Credit. Dick has served on AgriBank’s Board of Directors since 2005, and assumed the chairmanship in March of 2012 after being vice-chair for two years. AgriBank is one of four wholesale funding banks within the Farm Credit System, funding 17 associations in 15 states. Dick also served on the board of Columbus Production Credit Association and the Southern Ohio Farm Credit Association, two local Farm Credit associations that have since become part of Farm Credit Mid-America.

These leadership roles at both the local association and the wholesale funding bank level within the Farm Credit network give Dick a deep insight into the challenges faced by both agriculture and the organizations that fund it. “One of our greatest challenges is that the world is becoming more interested in upgrading their diet, so the demand worldwide for food is going to keep increasing,” he says. “To face that challenge, we’re going to have to be able to provide capital for the technology farmers will need to raise tomorrow’s crops and livestock.

To do so, he says, “we need to make sure that we’re safe and sound, which means making sure that we have the funding and liquidity to withstand agriculture’s economic cycles.”

“We want to make sure that we maintain this system to provide the capital for future generations, just like someone made sure it was available to me and my son,” he says. Dick is quick to point out that his family’s multi-generational experience with Farm Credit is not unique. “There are hundreds of thousands of farm families across this country that have used Farm Credit for multiple generations to expand and stay competitive,” he says. “That’s what makes our story so good.”

Download a PDF version of this story here.